Hello-Hello, and Happy-Happy Friday to everyone!
Yes, we do think today merits two Happies, it has been that kind of week. We remain mystified at our ongoing delusion that tomorrow shall possess a marked diminution in stress and activity, it is that point in the season where allofthedaysruntogether. But it is loads of fun and we are grateful to be doing what we love, if we were still doing television it’s likely we would currently be engaged in weather coverage (you know what we mean, portraying a little snow as apocalyptic, the forecast requiring DEFCON 4 status, that sort of thing) at this point.
As our headline notes, Preppy is Back! Again! To be honest, we have nary a clue if this is Version 29 (as cited in the post title) or 42 or 18; we haven’t kept track in our 774 posts (eek!) of all the times we have reported such declarations and pronouncements. This time CNBC is the media outlet sharing the ‘news’.
To be fair, the cable news channel’s story approaches the topic from a business perspective. “Straight Up or With a Twist, Preppy’s Back” looks at retailers benefiting from a resurgence of the styles some associate with the preppy aesthetic.
“The preppy style is making a comeback, but before you go digging through your father’s polos and grabbing your grandmother’s pearls, know that this time around “picnic chic” has some new twists.”
The story references Russell Simmon’s Argyleculture brand. (FYI, the image below is not from the CNBC story, just one we selected when seeking images to better familiarize ourselves with the company.)
Writer Ashley Kalinke spoke with a stock expert for her article:
“Preppy is starting to make a comeback,” says Christine Chen, a retail analyst at Needham & Co. “It isn’t quite mainstream yet other than in the teen market where you see the varsity jackets, but it’s definitely making a comeback. We’re still very much stuck in the ’80s, and seeing ’80s [inspired trends] in the stores. But, that’s done. The shift is happening. “
Ahem. A shift? Nay, nay sayeth preps everywhere.
The story looks at several versions of “prep” previously discussed in this space, notably “urban prep,” “hipster prep,” along with other styles not applicable to our personal taste. The ‘shift’ described in the article is attributed to consumers growing tired of denim.
“As a result, the style evolved to corduroy and khaki, which are inherently dressier fabrics that create more formal everyday style. This look can even conjure up a nautical feel that then lends itself to boat shoes, Breton stripes and a navy blazer, and eventually you begin to see a more classic preppy look emerge.”
True Prep author Lisa Birnbach is quoted in the story; we couldn’t agree with her more about a brand currently occupying a place on the AntiPrep Wall of Shame.
“There is some debate whether Abercrombie is a true prep, despite its polos and button-down shirts. Birnbach says it’s not.”It’s not preppy anymore,” she says. “What they are selling now is sex on the coattails of a brand name that’s elegant, and ‘American,’ but it’s not the same.”
Amen to that sentiment. As always, we smile at the return of something that never left, but in this case we can see where evolving styles have impacted sales and profits at certain retailers, prompting CNBC’s coverage. Click here to read the story in its entirety.
- “The North Shore prep lives in Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff and Kenilworth. They typically hug the coast (preppies like water)”
- “Highland Park was said to have too many “new money” families to be prep; while at the Lake Forest Book Store, owner Sue Boucher illustrated the difference: “Someone was just honking (outside the store), and I kept thinking, ‘We don’t honk here.’ In Highland Park, they honk. Decorum is what it’s all about.”‘
- “…not prone, for instance, to wearing the ostentatious new Ralph Lauren shirts “with the giant Polo pony horrifying to anyone of a true prep sensibility” — so described by Lance Lawson, whose clothing store, space519, in the 900 Shops on Michigan Avenue, has become a North Shore magnet. They gravitate more to regulation L.L. Bean duck boots.”
Writer Christopher Borelli’s piece merits a read, at least for those of us spending a little time on that side of The Large Lake; it also offers a “Select Preppy Reading List”. (We do count on Third Coast Prep, Preppy Little Dress, La Belette Rouge, Tippy L and others to advise us of any egregious errors in Mr. Borelli’s story.)
A few additional tidbits:
- Nashville preps will be happy to know Vineyard Vines will add a second store in that city, the new one is slated to open in February.
- J. McLaughlin celebrates its new Westport (CT) store this Sunday.
- Dior’s flagship store on 57th Street reopened this week after a major remodeling, a number of celebrations marked the occasion. On hand at the store, actress Amy Adams and Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester.
Our favorite look had to be Karolina Kurkova’s (L), while Natalie Portman was stunning.
As many readers know, Miss Portman’s “Black Swan” open across the US tonight, that one is near the top of our list.
Tomorrow we have a special treat, a visit from the Queen Bee herself. The Bee is going to be popping in now and again to share some of her thoughts and insights on April’s royal wedding, and tomorrow is the first of her posts. We are very excited the inimitable Bee is going to be visiting!
On that sunny note, may everyone revel in a stellar weekend filled with cheer and charity.
ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:
- Dimitrios Kambouris/Wire Image
- Steve Eichner/WWD
- Jason Kempin/Getty