August 20 2014

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3 posts tagged "Lisa Birnbach"

Tommy Hilfiger’s Prep House Touches Down In New York


Muffy, we’re not in East Hampton anymore. Those planning a Meatpacking District shopping excursion this weekend can’t possibly miss the out-of-place beach cottage plonked Wizard of Oz-style across the way from the Gansevoort Hotel. The tornado responsible: Tommy Hilfiger, who is on a mission to spread the gospel of prep to every corner of the world this year. The designer told last night, “Prepsters aren’t too serious about fashion. They want to be casual about fashion, a bit rumpled, but still fun and put together. It’s more a state of mind, and I think that’s why it has become so widespread.” Hilfiger has pulled out all the stops with his prefab, 800-square-foot pop-up house, which will rove from city to city, bringing with it the new, 60-piece Tommy Hilfiger Prep World capsule collection. Also for sale are select vintage pieces including lace-up, striped sundresses for the girls and cool letterman sweaters for guys, as well as accoutrements like dog leashes and “Prepgammon” board games.

Hilfiger brought in friend and collaborator Lisa Birnbach, expert on all things preppy and author of True Prep: It’s a Whole New Old World, to consult on the shop’s decor. It’s fitted out with anything and everything you could imagine turning up in an Andover alum’s summer digs: a wall of a colorful decoy ducks, Adirondack chairs, croquet sets, and even a tennis racket chandelier. There’s also an iPhone app for shoppers, which can superimpose images of the clothing or of the ficitional “The Hilfigers” clan onto camera phone pictures. Jessica Szohr, Krysten Ritter, and John Legend (who engaged in a lively Ping-Pong match) were just a few of the guests who came out to kick off the Prep World tour last night with a preview party at the Standard hotel last night; after New York, the pop-up house will travel to L.A., London, Paris, Madrid, Milan, and Stockholm this summer. So much for traveling light—the house requires three tractor-trailers to transport and four days to set up for each location.

The Prep World pop-up house, located in Gansevoort Plaza, is open to the public today through Sunday (college students get a 15 percent discount), and the collection is also available in Tommy Hilfiger retail stores and online at

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

It’s a Prep World After All


Didn’t graduate from (or get kicked out of) Andover or Exeter? Never had an au pair, a summer home, or monogrammed luggage? Even so—you’re still welcome in Tommy Hilfiger’s new Prep World. Said world, and the 60-piece collection that bears its name, isn’t merely a figure of speech. It’s a reference to the truly global spread of prepster. And where goes style, there goes shopping. A globe-trotting new temporary shop for the collection—inspired by an East Hampton beach cottage, naturally—will open in New York and make the kind of grand tour even most Groton grads couldn’t hope for: to Paris; London; Amsterdam; Milan; Stockholm; Madrid; Sylt, Germany; Knokke, Belgium; and Tokyo.

Helping with the ambassadorial mission is Lisa Birnbach, preppyism’s chronicler of choice and the author of The Official Preppy Handbook, the recent True Prep: It’s a Whole New Old World, and, just for, The Prep World Global Guide. Both Hilfiger and Birnbach were on hand last night to offer editors a preview of Prep World’s updated classics (an oxford shirtdress for Muffy, a pair of boat shoes for Hampton) at a gin-and-tonic-fueled party. Interested shoppers can get their hands on the goods when the roving store opens in New York on April 28th. But, please, don’t be so vulgar as to call it a “pop-up.” Others pop; true preps “drop in.”

Photo: Courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger

Your Homework Assignment


The dog days of summer are winding down, and the suntanned kids of the world are preparing to head back to school. And the over-22 set? They’re just planning to dress like it. This September, we’re in the mood for collegiate style, thanks to all the great pleated skirts, boy blazers, varsity jackets, and slouchy, schoolyard sweatshirts we’ve been dreaming of lately—our senior market editor, Marina Larroude, rounded the best of them up this week. And over the next few weeks, two new books will arrive to accessorize your quad-ready look.

Lisa Birnbach, author of the original Official Preppy Handbook, files her second dispatch from the gin-soaked, Nantucket red front lines of WASP-dom with True Prep—subtitle: It’s a Whole New Old World. (Case in point: Hereby elected to the preppy hall of fame are Michelle Obama and Al Franken.) Co-created with Chip Kidd (one of the best book designers in the business), True Prep ($13.46, available September 7 at is full of handy intel, like the 43 preppiest places to have a summer home, the relative widths of prep-favored fashion logos (the Lacoste croc is 2.8 cm, while Brooks Brothers’ sheep is 0.875″), a roundup of acceptable men’s loafers (Stubbs & Wootton, natch) and the ingredients to a Mixed Marriage (gin, vodka, vermouth, olives or a twist). Mummy will have three.

And the blog-beloved Take Ivy ($14.97, available August 31 at, Japanese photographer Teruyoshi Hayashida chronicle of the stylish men of the early-sixties northeastern college campus, is reissued this month. (After being talked up by blogger Michael Williams at A Continuous Lean, prices for the out-of-print tome skyrocketed on eBay.) Originally published in 1965, it’s got enough khaki, corduroy, and leaf-dusted gothic architecture to sate even the most blue-blooded Yale man. Boola boola!

Photos: Courtesy of Knopf (True Prep); Courtesy of (Take Ivy)