One thing’s for certain: You can’t accuse J. Press of being a sartorial mausoleum run by dinosaurs anymore. Like or dislike its new direction (and you can like it on Facebook), today J. Press took a bold step towards recapturing cultural and fashion relevance with the unveiling of a slick new website.
In addition to extremely upgraded e-commerce functionality and product copy that sounds like it was actually written by a native speaker of English, the site gives a prominent and separate identity to York Street, the new collection designed by the brothers behind Ovadia & Sons, which it proclaims “a daring new line.”
J. Press is late in the game when it comes to updated prep-with-a-twist. In fact, while the game isn’t actually over, some players have decided to leave the field. By a bizarre coincidence, York Street is making its debut precisely as Ralph Lauren’s Rugby line is shuttering.
The products will certainly raise the eyebrows of die-hard trad fuddy duddies, but that’s of little matter since it’s not aimed at them. To whom exactly it’s aimed I’m not entirely sure.
This patch madras jacket looks kind of familiar…
… while this look is reminiscent of a Ralph Lauren cruise collection:
This suit (called the Jacobi) is perfectly understated, save for the shrunken Thom Browne proportions. It’s priced at $1,450 and comes in sizes 38-46. However, there’s only one length.
And that length is short indeed:
J. Press’ youth-targeted items were once created by gentlemen merchandisers who went to football games (where, you know, guys wore a jacket and tie), to see what the kids were wearing. Now the youth-targeted items are created by fashion designers tempting us with things like a bandanna tee:
Which should pair well with these:
Sprinkled throughout the collection are Ivy League accessories, such as lapel pins, evidently meant to conjure a connection between the fashion items and the schools of the Ancient Eight. J. Press still maintains a cultural connection to Harvard and Yale at its Cambridge and New Haven stores, though a fraction of what it was when the Ivy League Look was at its zenith. But with York Street the presentation comes off as merely strategic merchandising.
Finally, the new website includes a photo of the coming York Street shop on Bleeker Street:
As you can see, the store is empty. I’m sure we’re all deeply curious as to whether it will remain so once it opens. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD