“The Rise and Fall….and Rise Again of Ivy League Style” headlined Women’s Wear Daily Senior Men’s Editor Jean Palmieri’s report dissecting the panel discussion at Town Stages in Tribeca, hosted by shirt fabric mill Thomas Mason and Simon Crompton of the website Permanent Style.
Palmieri commented further, “It’s not often these days that you see a room full of men wearing Harris tweed blazers, button-down oxfords, repp ties and gray flannel slacks….Richard Press, whose family founded J. Press in 1902 on Yale’s campus said there’s also the issue of the long-term investment value of the clothes to consider.”
I shared the stage with Alan Flusser (menswear author, historian, and custom tailor), Nick Sullivan (creative director of Esquire Magazine), Sid Mashburn (iconic Atlanta based retailer) and Todd Snyder (fashion designer and retailer).
MR MAGAZINE, the industry’s hub for the latest breaking menswear news applauded the standing-room-only event. Here’s their take on yours truly:
“Richard Press talked about how his grandfather, from a shtetl in Latvia where he’d studied to be a rabbi, emigrated to the States, apprenticed with a tailor, and ultimately became a partner in a New Haven menswear business, would run around the Yale campus with swatches, knocking on every dormitory door. In 1944, the GI Bill of Rights brought hundreds of GIs in their Army khakis to New Haven. J. Press adapted these khaki trousers and featured them paired with their Donegal tweed sportcoats. In 1954, Life magazine did an issue on Ivy League fashion in the States, inspiring virtually every department store in America to add an Ivy League shop to their menswear floor.”
Not to be outdone, @ivy-style Trevor Jones gave the show a rave up ticking Ivy League Style’s enduring saga:
“Mr. Press noted the significance of GI’s coming back home after WWII and, thanks to the GI bill, attending Ivy League schools. Mixing their clothes with the styles of the kids at those colleges – kids typically coming from elite boarding schools – a whole new element was added to the look, and such integral items like khaki chinos were added into the mix. Before the show got started, I sat down with Press, who mentioned his grandfather Jacobi’s three golden rules, “Police the quality, render meticulous tailoring detail – so that each purchase represents a long-term investment – and also have realistic pricing.” Using J. Press as a beacon of the look, he was pleased that things are getting back their roots. “One of the reasons I’m back at J. Press is because they recognize the foundational ideals started by my grandfather.”
I am certain readers will understand paternal pride vis-à-vis Mr. Jones’ recognition of my daughter’s audience participation. He reported the talk concluded with a Q and A segment from the audience. “Many knowledgeable questions were asked but the question that brought the house down was from Mr. Press’ daughter who exclaimed,
“I have never seen so many gorgeously dressed men in one room. You look so much better when you make an effort,”