Tag Archives: Harvard University clothing

The Times Tackles Harvard’s Preppy Clothing Line

Hello-Hello!

Are we recovered from the long weekend, or perhaps dragging just a little bit? We’re not ashamed to say that here at the Prepatorium we are more of the latter, remaining in denial about the seasonal transition.

Today’s topic involves something we first posted about back in early August: “Harvard’s New Clothing Line. Seriously.” The news was about the line of clothing the University has officially licensed, dubbed Harvard Yard.

Photos: Robert MItra/WWD via Boston.com

Photos: Robert Mitra/WWD via Boston.com

Since that occasion there has been a multitude of coverage in all manner of publications, including the follow-up story published here, “About That Harvard Clothing Line…” That post looked at general reaction to word the school is selling its name, as with this story in The Globe:

“… last week, the news took on a life of its own, dividing the blogosphere into those who either love or hate the slim-cut preppy collection inspired by a New England collegiate look circa 1962.”:

Now the Old Gray Lady has weighed in, setting off a new round of salvos and slings.  The Times story “Crimson and Green” ran on Friday, heading into the holiday weekend.

“So more than a few brainy Cambridge brows began to furrow last month after word trickled out that Harvard had entered into a 10-year licensing agreement for a line of preppy clothing…(a) New England patchwork of tartan, seersucker and old-school plaids, the collection is to arrive in national department stores beginning in February, under the name Harvard Yard.”

PHOTO: DerrickGomez.com via NY Times

PHOTO: DerrickGomez.com via NY Times

The primary criticism leveled in the story centers on the perception of Harvard as elitist, an image the University has been trying to shed. A 2005 graduate, Peter M. Conti-Brown, worked on efforts to “broaden Harvard’s appeal to students from poorer backgrounds” and he is quoted in the story:

““Every move to paste the Harvard name on symbols of prosperity, wealth, privilege and class erects a subtle, insidious ‘Members Only’ sign at the university admissions office,””

““We were going up against 400 years of history,” he said. “Without a doubt, licensing preppy clothes with the Harvard brand is a move in the opposite direction.””

In addition to offering more reactions to the planned apparel line, the story looks at today’s on-campus styles:

“A ramble through Harvard Yard this week, as students returned for a new academic year, revealed more bow ties, polo shirts and Lacoste crocodiles than one might find on the average college campus. But for the most part, today’s Harvard students dress however they like. The usual hoodies, jeans and flip-flops are common.”

PHOTO: Jodi Hilton for The NY Times

PHOTO: Jodi Hilton for The NY Times

To read more of the Times’ story, click here.

PHOTO:

PHOTO: DerrickGomez.com via NY Times

Perhaps one of the more fascinating stories on the issue can be found in the Crimson, “Harvard Licenses Brand for Preppy Clothing Line“.

“The clothing deal has amused many bloggers since it was first reported by the trade publication Women’s Wear Daily. Celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton asked: “why???” The IvyGate blog quipped: “You know Harvard’s broke when they start competing with Hollister.””

“Even the Chronicle of Higher Education couldn’t resist, and published a blog post called: “My Khakis Went to Harvard.””

The paper’s best coverage comes in the reaction from students, including a young man from the Class of ’11, J.P. Stilz:

“…a member of Harvard’s men’s polo team, and is playing the sport this summer in his home state of Kentucky. He said that he sees two sides to the clothing deal, some of which mirror challenges the polo team has faced. “I think it’s going to be bad for Harvard’s image,” he said. “We already have an image that all of our students are aristocratic, preppy bastards, frankly. So as an undergraduate student I’m kind of taken aback a little bit that that’s going to be happening, and I almost want to laugh at it.””

Again, click here for the Crimson’s story in all of its pithy glory.

Amazingly, NY Fashion Week kicks off this Thursday! We close with a few looks at last-minute preps, shown in this story from Women’s Wear Daily. Below, Carolina Herrera in her studio:

PHOTO: Thomas Iannaccone/WWD

PHOTO: Thomas Iannaccone/WWD

Next, looks from the Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2010 line to be unveiled at the Hilfiger show September 17.

PHOTO: Thomas Iannaccone/WWD

PHOTO: Thomas Iannaccone/WWD

We’re guessing the navy and white dress is meant to conjure images of nautical flags… ?

One of First Lady Michelle Obama’s favorites, Thakoon Panichgul:

PHOTO: Kyle Ericksen/WWD

PHOTO: Kyle Ericksen/WWD

And one of the masters, Oscar de la Renta with a model in one of next Spring’s confections.

PHOTO:

PHOTO: Thomas Iannaccone/WWD

With this we say G’Bye until next time!

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, When Preppy Goes Wrong