Welcome to the Fox Hole! The Fox Hole is a weekly column loosely focused on events, news, and speculation surrounding preppy fashion, well-heeled lifestyle, and anything else that happens to strike our fancy. The subject matter and amount of content may vary from week to week, but our commitment to pseudo-journalism and irreverent commentary will never waver.
This Week's Theme: Preppy Independence
Mood: Set to Miley Cyrus' Party in the USA
I hope you had an amazing Fourth of July this past weekend despite the current circumstances. Backyard barbeques, watching fireworks, and celebrating the United States of America has proved to be still enjoyable while being safe and socially distant, albeit not the same. These past few months have been a culmination of ups and downs for the country and world, but as always, the preppy community perseveres (and faces introspection along with the rest of America).
Item #1: The Race Must Go On
For the first time in history, the Belmont Stakes was the first race of the American Triple Crown instead of the last. on June 20th. The winning horse was Tiz the Law, owned by Sackatoga Stable, trained by Braclay Tagg, and ridden by superstar Jockey, Manuel Frano.
The Kentucky Derby has been pushed to September 5th and the Preakness Stakes is postponed until October 3rd. Although the races will take place without live spectators due to the coronavirus (yay safety), you can still watch the full race coverage that is always broadcasted on NBC Sports.
Item #2: Preppy Meets Sportswear In This Spring/Summer Collaboration
(Photo: Courtesy of Rowing Blazers)
FILA, the heritage Italian sportswear brand has joined forces with the NYC-based clothing brand, Rowing Blazers on a vintage-inspired seven-piece capsule collection, re-imagining the preppy aesthetic with a modern streetwear twist. The tennis-centric collection ranges in price from $95 to $175.
Kicking off the collaboration are red and navy tracksuits followed by the Fidelio polo, a modernized version of the traditional tennis polo with vertical zig-zag stripes, a contrasting collar, and the Rowing Blazers logo affixed neatly next to Fila’s branding. The dazzling zig-zag detailing reappears on the Benvolio shorts and on the pair of Tennis 88 sneakers, featuring a rainbow of Rowing Blazers’ signature croquet stripes on the insole. Genius!
The Rowing Blazers x FILA collection is now exclusively available at https://RowingBlazers.com/Collections/Rowing-Blazers-x-FILA.
Item #3: The Downfall of Heritage Preppy Brands
Despite the success of newer preppy brands, this past year hasn’t proved to be a champion for heritage preppy department stores— struggling to stay afloat due to the decline of mall foot traffic, heightened competition from digital services, and the rise of fast-fashion alternatives.
(Photo: Andrew Chin/Getty Images)
Wednesday morning was a sad day for Brooks Brothers fans, as the oldest clothing retailer in the US known for its upscale preppy attire filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Unfortunately, the iconic brand joins a plethora of other preppy fashion companies that have filed for bankruptcy this year, including J. Crew, Barney's, and Neiman Marcus.
Even prior to the pandemic, these brands were simply not well-positioned to deal with the current retail challenges, nevertheless, there is more opportunity now than ever for them to eliminate their debt and emerge strongly (if they play their cards right).
Despite the fate of a handful of traditional brands, the future of preppy clothing brands has never looked so bright. There will be a continued emphasis on smaller, more niche preppy brands that are domestic and sustainably made— such as Country Club Prep, Rowing Blazers, Kiel James Patrick, and every other preppy brand we support!
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Long live J Press and O’Connells! J Press still has the best Oxford shirts for the money!