If a man outside of Harvard University wears apparel from the (somewhat) eponymous line, Harvard Yard, does it make him smarter? I am having a difficult time comprehending this collaboration between Harvard University and Wearwolf Group.
I don't have a problem with the clothes- the boys in Cambridge are capitalizing on a movement of sorts as pushed forth in the dogma that is Ivy Style as championed by the likes of Michael Williams @ A Continuous Lean and the guys @ men.style.com among others.
I guess my real question is less satirical. As a consumer, while I might like that Eisenhower jacket in plaid and think it's a great layer for Fall, would I buy something essentially from Harvard? I didn't go to Harvard, and my "brand loyalty" lies with the colleges I attended. I wouldn't buy a college product from a college I didn't attend. And is this even a "college" product so as to even have this debate? It's not like a sweatshirt with "Harvard" emblazoned on it. It's a line of clothing- not that any of my colleges have anything to compare to anyway.
Maybe that's the rub- can Harvard Yard be a label and not a college?
It is not a "label" thing per se. I am a very "non-label" guy (I even have a series of posts I am planning to that effect). If something looks good, fits good and hits a price point (read value) for what the garment is, I would buy it. But man, pushing the limits of my collegiate allegiance might make this an interesting confrontation.
Regardless of whether the garments are well-done, style-wise and construction-wise, can this Ivy-branded line succeed? Is Harvard Yard guilty by association? That is the research geek in me coming out. I do not know whether there are any brands that have debuted with such a history already in place and a place in history already so cemented. And does that history hinder or help?
A great challenge, no doubt, but can Harvard Yard be successful outside of a small (university) market? I am certain the folks at Wearwolf Group are eying a bigger target market than the University and its Alma Mater. But can they generate a purchase in said target group? Or are there more people like me out there that would have a really hard time buying something from another school, regardless of fit, finish, function, etc.? I am sure I just got a "Hell Yes!" from all the Yale grads out there. But what about everyone else?
Is it about loyalty? Branding? Style? Something else? I guess, really, which guy are you? (And no, I don't mean Harvard or Yale.)