One of the true pleasures of running a site such as Off the Cuff is the opportunity afforded to us of meeting some truly remarkable people. Amazingly enough, many of our most interesting friends sought out OTC, not the other way around.
Such was the case with Richard Press. Richard, former CEO of the iconic menswear brand, J. Press, is also grandson of its founder, Jacobi Press. The New Haven, Connecticut native had read the review of The Ivy League and immediately honed in on the bits about Dartmouth – he’s a proud alum.
Knowing that our editor-in-chief would be in New York City for the US Open, they planned to meet for relaxed Sunday brunch at Sarabeth’s, on Central Park South. Charming, thoughtful, and convivial, Richard is font of knowledge when it comes to the menswear business, possessing a rich personal and professional history. Literally born into J. Press, that is to be expected, but he also has a scholar’s inquisitiveness and salesman’s knack for seeing opportunity.
Along with legendary menswear author Bruce Boyer, Ricard is curating the Ivy Style exhibition at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, the FIT. The exhibition, which opened on September 14, 2012, and runs through January 5, 2013, is an amazing retrospective that celebrates the influence of classic East Coast, Ivy League fashion.
Breathtaking in its scope and scale, the show also includes several of Richard’s father’s Harris Tweed sport coats, and his father’s favorite blue blazer – all J. Press, of course. Christian Chensvold, founder of Ivy Style, the ne plus ultra of Ivy League blogs, helped pen the accompanying book, to be published by the Yale Press.
As we bade our farewells on the sidewalk, already mapping out a potential project for later this fall, I glanced across West 59th Street to Central Park and decided to take a stroll. With all supplies tucked firmly in my Frank Clegg tote, I enjoyed a sunny hour in the park.