The trade publication Sourcing Journal, for which I’ve written for in the past, put out a trend report last week noting the coming popularity of “New Ivy League.”
Not surprising, it comes with an irreverent spin. Rather like an Ivy League education, symbols of wealth and prestige can be cool so long as they are subverted.
From the article:
Preppy fashion is staging a comeback, but [trend consultant Rachel Dimit] says it’s laden with style cues that hark back to 1990’s urban culture. Head-to-toe looks adopted from ’90s sportswear, she noted, along with traditional materials feel subversive in the current streetwear environment driven by loud graphics and logos.
“Prep, trad, Ivy League—no matter what you call it, it somehow always cycles back into fashion. And although born on college campuses and country clubs, the style has morphed over the years to not only become a staple of the privileged class but a hallmark of rebellious urban counterculture,” Dimit said. “Skaters and rappers have gravitated toward typical symbols of wealth, with allusions to yachting, skiing and other pursuits of leisure.”
Color instantly makes this trend story youthful. Bright red and periwinkle fell fresh against moody autumnal colors like maroon, plum and forest green. The colors are combined with mid-century tones of electric blue and golden yellow. Dimit describes it as a “dynamic palette that takes the best of yesterday and remixes it with today’s most relevant colors.”
Rugby shirts are a base layer for the New Ivy League, not to mention an ideal canvas to show off these colors. The classic item returns with unexpected color combinations, relaxed fits, embroidered logos and regalia. Similarly, the crested shirt allows heritage brands to visit their archives and for new brands to invent a history of their own.
From fleece to ski, outerwear is key. In particular, Dimit said sailing parkas allow brands to play with nautical colors, neon hues, optic winter whites and logos. “It’s a statement piece of outerwear that appeals to the streetwear consumer’s appetite for performance gear and utility function,” she explained.
Corduroy blazers are also poised to be a big item for 2019. Golden beige and other neutrals are likely to be a commercial success, Dimit said, while jewel tones, reds, pinks and blues “add character and give off a Wes Anderson-type of feel.”