Vineyard Vines is an American clothing and accessory retailer founded in 1998 in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, by brothers Shep and Ian Murray. The brand markets upper market ties, hats, belts, shirts, shorts, swimwear, bags for men, women, and children. It has grown to a collection of retail stores and outlets across the United States.The company's main logo is a pink whale. Their clothing is considered preppy and southern styled.
Shep and Ian Murray grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut and spent their summers on Martha's Vineyard, where they were introduced to the coastal lifestyle of sailing, fishing, and boating. The two brothers originally held jobs in New York City, but soon grew tired of the corporate lifestyle. Ian claims the duo "traded in [their] business suits for bathing suits" and “started making neckties so [they] didn’t have to wear them.” Before quitting their jobs, the two brothers opened credit cards so they could buy silk and launch vineyard vines. The company's entire startup capital was raised from the brothers' accrued credit card debt. Shep and Ian sold their neckties on Martha's Vineyard, selling out of a backpack from their boat or Jeep rather than a storefront. Initially, they offered four different styles of ties. After they sold 800 ties on a single weekend in July, Shep and Ian quickly re-ordered more, paid off their accrued debt, and moved into a new office. The Murray brothers claim that the business was founded through a philosophy of "living the good life," which is reflected by their slogan "Every day should feel this good." Shep Murray claims his goal is to be "a cross between Warren Buffett and Jimmy Buffett" in building the "lifestyle brand" he founded. Vineyard Vines is still owned outright by the two Murray brothers.
Since the summer of 1998, the Vineyard Vines company has expanded nationally, particularly along the East Coast. Vineyard Vines has opened numerous company, outlet, and retail stores. In addition to these traditional channels, Vineyard Vines has expanded its sales to online shoppers. The company manufactures licensed NFL and MLB product, which it sells through its retail channels. Vineyard Vines also manufactures licensed college apparel, which is sold primarily through campus stores. Vineyard Vines was placed on Inc. magazine's list of the 5000 fastest-growing businesses in the U.S. in 2007. Between 2004 and 2007, the relatively new company's revenue tripled. In 2015 the company inaugurated a new headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.In January 2018, sportscaster Jim Nantz announced a partnership with Vineyard Vines to create a golf-oriented lifestyle clothing line set to launch in spring 2019.
The first stores were opened in Northeastern locations associated with the sea such as Martha's Vineyard. The first was in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, followed by Greenwich, Connecticut. The company has expanded to more than 59 stores as well as 15 outlet locations across the U.S. states.
The Official Preppy Handbook (1980) is a tongue-in-cheek humor reference guide edited by Lisa Birnbach, written by Jonathan Roberts, Carol McD. Wallace, Mason Wiley, and Birnbach. It discusses an aspect of North American culture described as prepdom. In addition to insights on prep school and university life at socially acceptable schools, it illuminates many aspects of the conservative upper middle class, old money WASP society. Topics range from appropriate clothing for social events to choosing the correct college and major.
The book addresses "preppy" life from birth to old age, lending understanding to the cultural aspects of "preppy" life. In general, elementary and secondary school, college, and the young adult years receive the most attention. Coverage lessens during the book's latter chapters.The book was first published in 1980 by Workman Publishing.
The Official Preppy Handbook explains and satirizes what it takes to be a preppy person in the 1980s, parodying the lifestyle of the WASP elite. Birnbach reveals through an ironic tone where preps go to school, where they summer, what brands they wear, and how they decorate their homes. Birnbach divides The Official Preppy Handbook into 7 sections, each devoted to a different period of the preppy lifestyle. The Handbook begins by caricaturizing the childhood of a preppy person in 1980. Lisa Birnbach satirizes a prep’s ideal family lifestyle, and humorously advises readers how to pick, interview, and gain acceptance into a prep school.The book then wittily discusses “the best years of your life”- a prep’s college years. With tongue in cheek, Birnbach elucidates which college courses to take, how to design one’s dorm room, and how to party at college. In Chapters 5 and 6, the book explains the prep adult life as first a “young executive”, and later as a retired adult in “the Country Club Years”. Birnbach jokingly educates readers on navigating a cocktail party, networking, and vacationing. The Official Preppy Handbook also teaches readers how to dress preppy. In chapter 4, Birnbach emphasizes the importance of appearing effortless, preppy and casual, writing, “socks are frequently not worn on sporting occasions or on social occasions for that matter. This provides a year round beachside look that is so desirable that comfort may be thrown aside”.By teaching readers on where to shop, what to wear, and “the merits of pink and green”, Birnbach makes preppy culture attainable to anyone – contrary to the popular belief that one needs to be born into a preppy lifestyle, she makes prepdom something anyone can cultivate.
The book's reflections on young urban professional culture inspired Arthur Cinader, the founder of the J. Crew clothing line. Cinader hoped to capitalize on the book's success.
The book also represented a resurgence of interest in preppy culture that aided the growth of retailer L.L. Bean, which the book describes as "nothing less than Prep mecca." The book's exposé of university life and the drug and sex culture at various schools had a significant impact on public thought about those schools. The book spawned many other "official" handbooks for other American subcultures.
The Handbook exposed preppy culture to the masses, and helped to democratize the preppy subculture. Prior to the book, primarily only wealthy WASP elites adopted the preppy subculture. From the 1920s, WASPs dominated American universities, and preppy fashion was traditionally worn on university campuses. However, as universities became less exclusive as a result of economic and cultural shifts, preppiness as a subculture became less exclusive. Preppy fashion adopted new nuances, and preppy culture has become more inclusive. By writing The Official Preppy Handbook, Lisa Birnbach helps to further democratize preppy fashion and culture. Birnbach explains in her introduction that the handbook is not intended as an exclusive text describing preppiness as subculture reserved for “an elite minority lucky enough to attend prestigious private schools”. Rather, the Handbook was written as a guidepost for the revival of the preppy style. It shared the secrets of the preppy code, making preppy seem “neat, attractive, and suddenly attainable”.