Look out, Muffy: Hilfiger is taking the preppy aesthetic from its East Coast enclave on a global tour to fete the launch of a capsule collection with the author of The Official Preppy Handbook, Lisa Birnbauch.
On April 28, the new capsule, called "Prep World," will kick off its global tour in Manhattan with an 800-square-foot "drop-in shop" (apparently prepsters don't "pop up") modeled after an East Hampton beach cottage.
Prep World is a 60-piece collaboration between the granddaddy of the aesthetic himself, Tommy Hilfiger, and author Lisa Birnbauch, whose book, The Official Preppy Handbook, and its 2010 follow-up, True Prep: It's a Whole New Old World, outlined the nuances of an exclusive lifestyle based on understated behavior (and, technically, where one went to high school).
Tommy Hilfiger has always been a pioneer of our quirky aesthetic. We might have gone to prep school or been thrown out of prep school or lived near a prep school, but even without a direct connection to a private school, we get the aesthetic of sportswear and owning clothing until they are worn and comfy cozy.
In addition to preppy accoutrements like ping pong paddles and badminton rackets, the collection consists of clothing for men (retailing between $35-$298) and women ($45-$178), including nautical motifs splashed on sundresses and T-shirts, Oxford shirts and shirtdresses, rope belts and ribbons, madras, stripes, polos and, of course, chinos -- green for guys and skinny for women.
Once the drop-in beach house leaves NYC, it'll make the rounds to two other US cities (to be announced), before taking off for a summer tour of Paris, London, Amsterdam, Milan, Stockholm, Madrid; Sylt, Germany; Knokke, Belgium; and Tokyo.
Hilfiger pointed out that globalization has touched down, even on the preppy lifestyle. “While celebrating our 25th anniversary all around the globe in 2010, I realized the preppy look with a twist we pioneered over the years has gone global; every corner of the world interprets it in different ways,” he said, specifically citing the popularity of "big argyles and bright madras" in places like Japan.