Americans are used to having Ivy style, one of the nation’s chief sartorial exports, served back to them. Typically this comes via Japan, where it’s known as Ametora, or “American traditional,” and takes the form of bold, colorful neo-prep from retailers such Beams Plus or precise period reproductions by bespoke makers including Tailor Caid.

Today, a new batch of brands is playing in the Ivy sandbox, though they hail not from the Land of the Rising Sun, but of the Midnight Sun. Call it Scand-Ivy, and for those who appreciate American prep’s easy but unfussy aesthetic, these clean, luxe interpretations take the genre in a direction that’s less costume, more contemporary.

More from Robb Report

“We wanted to create the type of ready-to-wear garments that worked for our lives, with the best from the vintage world in terms of cut, quality and make but skipping the cosplay and making it relevant for today,” says Oliver Dannefalk, who founded Rubato in 2019 with his business partner, Carl Pers.

Sports sweater and officer's chinos by Rubato

Sports sweater and officer’s chinos by Rubato

The Swedish duo named their fledgling brand after an Italian musical term meaning “stolen time” and cite a wide variety of influences on their tightly edited product range, including art, architecture and interior design. But Ivy’s hand is clearly at work in their sporty crewneck sweaters, high-rise officer’s chinos and the aptly named Campus Shirt, which features trad elements such as a button-down collar and a flapped chest pocket, à la J. Press.

Still, such details are a light touch, not a deep dive—according to Pers, prep has always been a mindset as much as an aesthetic. “I think it has to do with how the clothes were worn, not necessarily exactly what the clothes looked like,” he says. “Guys wore clothing that today would be considered quite dressy, but in a very casual manner, and that attitude to wearing clothes really appeals to us.”

What you won’t see are blingy blue blazers or go-to-hell colors. Rubato’s clothing is casual and rendered in soft, cool hues. Even its take on the typically maximalist cricket sweater is free of the garment’s usual contrast tipping, allowing the ivory-colored cable knit to stand on its own.

Berg & Berg, which began as a Norwegian accessories brand in 2009 before relocating to Stockholm in 2012, is today a whole outfitter that mixes a typically restrained color palette with clothing from across the classic menswear spectrum. Among these are upgraded Ivy staples such as hand-rolled repp ties (the brand started with neckwear), merino-cashmere crewneck sweaters and oxford-cloth button-downs designed with a more relaxed fit and a generous, natural collar roll.

A model dressed in Besnard
A stylish look by luxury heritage menswear maker, Besnard.

Founder Mathias Berg says the label is influenced by its pan-Scandinavian heritage and relationships with manufacturing partners in Italy, where much of the clothing is made, as well as Ivy style’s “sporty, down-to-earth interpretation of the classics.” Today it draws clients “who want to dress casually in an elegant way,” Berg says.

“A proper overcoat and a button-down shirt with a good collar roll. A classic American army-style sweatshirt. A sport coat crafted from English tweed. All of these items are classic, but fit perfectly into contemporary society,” he notes.

In some ways, the Scandi-Ivy connection seems inevitable. If Ivy style’s original appeal was appearing elegant without making a fuss about it, and the new-prep approach is to appear elegant while making a great deal of fuss, the Scandi touch effortlessly brings things back to the basics.

Best of Robb Report

Sign up for Robb Report's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.

Source link