York Street’s Grand Opening

partyUptown met Downtown Tuesday night at the grand opening party for J. Press’ York Street store in the West Village, where Yalie and Madison Avenue J. Press stalwart David Wilder joined this Dartmouth man and Ivy Style cheerleader in a chorus of “The Whiffenpoof Song.” Sadly no one commented on “the magic of their singing.”

The store reminds me of the treasured Squeeze location on Mt. Auburn Street in Cambridge. I joined the celebration of York Street On Bleecker Street with my wife Vida, who was transported identifying the many pictures on view from earlier times, back when the family made J. Press its home away from home. I suspect that at the time of the sale of the business in 1986, my father Paul accidentally left the pictures in his desk in the New Haven store. Regardless, I’m delighted to have them displayed at the new enterprise.

I was also delighted to have engaged in jolly conversation with the very charming Ovadia brothers, Ariel and Shimon, the designers behind York Street. I told them of the back and forth with my father and uncle during the heyday, when I introduced wide ties and two-button suits in the New York store, a change considered revolutionary at the time but which has continued to be au courant to this day.

I must say I love the store. It’s the essence of change but with respect for J. Press’ archival past. For a full selection of party pix, head over to this flickr page. — RICHARD PRESS

36 Comments on "York Street’s Grand Opening"

  1. Minimalist Trad | March 16, 2013 at 10:33 am |

    Thank you, Mr. Press, for introducing the two-button suit and rescuing us from that non-functional, ornamental top button and reverse buttonhole.

  2. There are some interesting characters in that photo album. Hard to derive what any of it has to do with J. Press.

  3. Reactionary Trad | March 16, 2013 at 10:55 am |



    Hard to derive what York St. as a whole has to do with J. Press, actually!

  4. Those Flicker party pics remind me of why khakis came to the Ivy League. Just kidding! 😉

  5. Dutch Uncle | March 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm |

    I wouldn’t walk my dog dressed like some of those slobs in the Flicker photos.

  6. Mr Squeeze, as always you display an admirable attitude.

  7. Mr. Press thank you for introducing us to your lovely wife Vida. You did very well.

  8. I’m not sure how it was decided who to invite, but most of the people in these pictures appear to have absolutely no appreciation for the style of clothing that J. Press represents and purveys. In fact, many of them appear to be affecting something wholly removed from their own comfort level in dressing, as evidenced by the awkward outfits that many of the party-goers threw together…good grief.

  9. Best dressed goes to Richard Press and David Wilder. Special recognition to the Boston Terrier for edging out a surprising number of the other male attendees!

  10. Richard Meyer | March 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm |

    WTF ever happened to shaving? Send those bearded pseuds to the Taliban.

  11. A few of those party-goers look like they stopped off at Men’s Wearhouse to pick an outfit for the night… No idea of the band or the clothes…

  12. Main Line Philly | March 16, 2013 at 8:26 pm |

    Looking forward to York Street’s Not-so-Grand Closing.

  13. Gray Flannels | March 16, 2013 at 8:31 pm |

    Mr. Press,

    It seems that you, David Wilder, and Noris Wolff were the only properly-dressed gentlemen there.
    Three out of how many attendees?

  14. I read the comments about how terrifying and untraditional it is for men to wear a beard. Men. At a press party in NY celebrating one of our favorite brands. All this time I thought it was terrifying and untraditional for women to wear beards. I’m silly. But now I’m clear on the matter and thank you for showing me your ways…
    xo bedrock

  15. Richard Meyer | March 16, 2013 at 10:57 pm |

    Scruffy unshaven look is the opposite of what J. Press stands for. Sorry, bedrock, grunge is not Ivy.

  16. All I have to say, is my email box is being flooded with York Street emails, from which I would NEVER buy anything. I am an old, grouchy, definitely not size 38 trim fit jacket type. Give me a 42 regular thats the proper length from J Press. If this York street crap keeps cluttering up my email box (with the same address as J Press) I will have to unsubscribe, or block their emails. So much for me getting info from J Press about sales etc. That folks, means a reduction in my business. A shame for someone who has been doing business there since 1968, both at the Cambridge store, and mail order/web orders all these later years.

  17. Buttoned Down | March 17, 2013 at 4:23 am |

    I wonder how many of those “cool” types at the party were wearing bit loafers?

  18. Oxford Stripe | March 17, 2013 at 4:34 am |

    In the old days, the doorman at J. Press wouldn’t even have let most of these creeps through the door.

  19. Moran Morse | March 17, 2013 at 4:36 am |

    The photos are documentary proof of the fact that Asians can have just as bad taste as Caucasians.

  20. gag.

  21. Roy R. Platt | March 17, 2013 at 3:53 pm |

    The food and the flower arrangements didn’t look too bad, but were various types of Bushmill’s served in water glasses all that there was to drink? Maybe the next time if the bar was better stocked and if you invited more girls, it might turn out better. Did anyone buy anything? (It is a store, right?)

  22. What’s saddest of all is that these people look better-dressed than most people I see on the street of a great American metropolis.

  23. Curmudgeon | March 17, 2013 at 7:05 pm |

    The Ovadia Bros. could easily have grabbed two of the available neckties and put them on out of respect to those gentlemen who knew how to dress properly when attending such a function.

  24. I guess I don’t get all the “suicide” talk and end of the world tone here. Is York st. not a very small part of a much larger body of work? If you want your geezer sack blazer you can still go in to any Press store except for Bleecker st. and buy. I see York st. as a fairly conservative stab at maintaining relevance in a clothing universe that is expanding away from us.

  25. By the way, why is a clothing store on Bleeker Street named after a subway station in DUMBO?

  26. “Geezer Sack.”

    I like it.

  27. PJG Spotter | March 18, 2013 at 1:27 pm |

    Did anyone notice the gape on the collar of Mr. Press’ blazer? That can’t be from Press, can it?

  28. I’m sorry that you’re not embarassed by this sad attempt at raking in some revenue, Mr. Press. I hope at least your cut will be worth trashing the legacy built by your family, though I am quite confident this venture will fail. 2-button suits and wider ties are one thing; “reinforced knee” sweats for $150 bombarding my email inbox are quite another. You could have modernized the company without abandoning its values.

  29. A.E.W. Mason | March 19, 2013 at 12:10 pm |

    @ PJG Spotter

    I think that gape is due only to the way he is standing with his head thrust forward.

  30. @etk What a foul little shit you are. If this line serves to chase away nasty trolls like you then I, for one, am all for it.

  31. Lotsa bit loafers there?

  32. Harry Palmer | March 21, 2013 at 5:59 am |

    I doubt I’ll be paying a visit to York St on my next trip to NY. Although I will no doubt be spending yet even more of my hard earned on Madison.

    One can only imagine the comments on here if those pics had come from a gathering at John Simons!

  33. I was thinking, there is no way those clothes and attendees are as bad as I remember.. So I went back just now, and they’re not as bad as I remember, they’re worse than I remember.

    I though one of the major points of this Ivy obsession we have is its timelessness. The look these hipsters are pushing is not timelessness, this is an awful fad that will be embarrassing to many of them in a short time. They will look back at themselves and think, “oh my, what was I thinking wearing that?”

    I am embarrassed for them now.

  34. Dutch Uncle | March 23, 2013 at 7:52 am |


    I think you’re being far too kind and optimistic. My prediction is that they’ll continue to dress like this for the rest of their lives. Or pethaps, they’ll look back at these photos and “oh my, did I really once dress that conservatively?”

  35. Robert
    Hopefully they will repent, they be like polyester leisure suit deniers. Anyone know anyone that will admit to owning one? Unfortunately, for them, the internet is for eternity. I was lucky, try to find a photo of me from the early 70s with long hair, you can’t, they’ve been destroyed. 😉

  36. Roget Crowell | March 24, 2013 at 10:27 pm |

    Fey Ivy

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