During the 1930s Irving Press made frequent buying trips to England. One of his favorite venues was the Burlington Arcade, London’s earliest covered shopping arcade offering luxury goods. His brother (my dad) Paul Press formulated then J. Press New Haven headquarters showcase windows maintaining Burlington’s conceit of discreet signage with minute attention to providing furnishings and clothing tastefully mixed and matched.
Paul Press windows became the heart and soul of Heyday Ivy with every three weeks packing the York Street sidewalk with approving crowds of Yale faculty, students and alumni every time they were changed.
The tradition hit the frontal lobe in 1962 premiering the first Manhattan J. Press ground floor windows at the new 44th Street store between Fifth and Madison Avenues. The multiple windows were exact replicas of our popular New Haven and Cambridge campus favorites.
The inherent philosophy J. Press windows followed advanced legendary advertising tycoon David Ogilvy’s advice noted in a previous column, “The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be.”
The sidewalk fronting our New York Headquarters side-by-side the Yale Club showcases the J. Press clothing culture to the thousands of pedestrians passing through the hub of Grand Central. Dramatic pages borrowed from our Fall & Winter Brochure come to life on the windowed stage as the parade passes by.
Burlington Arcade minutiae has evolved into on-site story telling. The current exhibit features J. Press Custom Clothing, Back to Campus Dress Code, Tailgate Chic and Iconic Favorites.
Come on by and catch the show in real time.
Been loving J Press since college. Still do!
I am always delighted to read these retrospectives. The clothing, thankfully, is still current, and readily available. As a resident in Southern California (Santa Barbara, it could be so much worse), I rely on J Press for the best in traditional menswear.
Bought my first J. Press tie – a club tie with monkeys- at 44th Street store in summer 1972. How I miss that store.
interesting story…probably the reason Press is still around while others have gone.
Another good read.