Forget everything you thought you knew about preppy. New York brand Rowing Blazers is giving new meaning to the tired fashion trope with a bright, subversive collection for summer 2021.
Founded four years ago by US rowing champ turned fashion designer Jack Carlson, Rowing Blazers has unveiled their biggest collection to date, venturing into classic womenswear with skirts and dresses for the first time. Inspired by fashion-forward preppies of the 1990s with a twist, the latest collection is reminiscent of summers playing tennis and golf in the East Hamptons for a younger, diverse generation.
"We've avoided the word 'preppy' since Rowing Blazers started," says Carlson. "The whole world has changed a lot in that time, and I think it's time to start facing head-on what we've been doing unintentionally the whole time, and that's changing (for the better) the way people think about 'preppy' clothes."
"The way that the industry has presented so-called 'preppy' clothing in the past has been at worst problematic and at best cringe-worthy and corny. But for me in 2021, that vibe doesn't ring true. I think about growing up in the '90s and early 2000s and a whole crazy mixture of influences. This stuff at its core is colourful, fun, and a little subversive."
Classic 'preppy' fixtures like piqué polos, rugby shirts and Oxford button-downs lay the groundwork for a youthful collection consisting of bright colour-blocking, surf-inspired windbreakers, terry-towelled polos and shorts and chessboard patterned sweaters. Rowing Blazers references tennis, golfing, surfing and chessboards with a classic '90s colour palette of neons and neutral plaids for a contemporary college aesthetic. The collection is truly the fullest to date, filled with brand collaborators old and new. Legendary British knitwear brands Warm & Wonderful and Gyles & George make a triumphant return to the brand, debuting a green iteration of the iconic sheep sweater - famously worn in red by Princess Di. Also featured are Japanese watch brand Seiko, footwear brand Top-Sider with three unique styles. The most standout partnership is a racing shell (rowing boat) with WinTech Racing, painted with a signature brand stripe and custom interior. For every boat ordered, WinTech and Rowing Blazers are donating a boat to a rowing program focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
"Someone recently told me that we have avoided using the word 'preppy' until we had helped to redefine the genre," says RB founder Jack Carlson, "I thought that was a huge compliment."
The new collection is available exclusively at rowingblazers.com
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