At most every wedding the past few summers, during the “guys getting ready” I spied that familiar dark blue rectangular box with a splash of pink in the center. Ahh yes, a Vineyard Vines tie box.
You gotta love Vineyard Vines…for a whole lot of reasons. Love their colorful, fun good looking ties that many of our grooms wear…that girls and guys both like. Love the entrepreneurial energy of these two guys–Shep and Ian–who reenergized that category with style, salesmanship, lots of variety and some great branding. And love that they’re having an awesome time growing their business way beyond ties…really capturing the relaxed but dressed-up seaside style.
Vineyard Vines is headquartered in Stamford and has stores in Westport and Greenwich CT along with other perennially preppy spots such as Edgartown, Nantucket, Southampton, Palm Beach and Georgetown. All told they have 18 VV stores and sell their wares in some 500 retailers…and have projected sales of $100M for 2011. Of course, they’re very plugged into the wedding market, offering lots of customized wedding items. In fact Vineyard Vines has partnered with Darien’s Coren Moore (who designs beautiful wedding dresses & bridemaids dresses) on a line of brightly colored ties.
While I’m talking up Connecticut preppy clothiers…here are some others to check out:
J. Press in New Haven…the grand-daddy of prepdom, my dad’s favorite, right next to the Yale campus, J. Press has stores in NYC, DC and Cambridge as well….for Yale wear, Barbour coats, English-y sport coats etc. In the middle of beautiful Essex CT is J. Alden, a classic boating town men’s clothier featuring who outfitted the guys at Farrell and Darius’s Dauntless Club wedding in August.
Up in the center of Litchfield CT is R. Derwin Clothiers, which is owned the parents of a client of ours who were married in 2009 up in the Berkshires. Check them out for argyle, Viyella, and English country clothes. J. McLaughlin from NYC recently opened a store in Westport (side note: what is it about first initial of all these retailers?). As their site says, they offer “classic American brand featuring a flair for bold colors and signature prints.” And, Rugby from Ralph Lauren in Greenwich and New Canaan offers an Etonian take on preppy.