Yale Co-Op shirt relaunching in June 2019
The garment once famously known as the Yale Co-Op shirt will be arriving this week at the Yale Barnes & Noble store on 77 Broadway in New Haven. The button-down oxford shirt, which can also be ordered online at Vineyard Vines, was sold in the Yale Co-Op store for six decades and was once considered the pinnacle of Ivy league fashion.
The Yale Co-Op store, which once occupied the Barnes & Noble building, was founded in 1885 as the second oldest university store in the U.S. The Co-Op supplied generations of Yalies with khakis, V-necked sweaters, and sport jackets, but most importantly, a line of button-down dress shirts produced for the Co-op by New Haven-based shirt-maker, GANT. The Co-op is known as the place where the “Ivy League Look” emerged. The term was first coined in the 1930s and “denotes academic excellence, prestige, tradition and a new, relaxed style that would forever change American fashion,” according to GANT.
Once the GANT button-down shirt was stocked on Co-Op shelves in the 1950s, it became an integral element of Ivy League attire, and was later seen as “the essential garment for the American man,” according to GANT. The new shirt style strongly appealed to a new generation of men who had spent years wearing military-issued clothing, and who sought to take a place in the newly emerging middle class.
GANT founders, Marty and Elliot Gant, became aware of the style on Yale’s campus, and wanted to capitalize on the trend in American fashion. The brothers began experimenting with a myriad of styles and fabrics and decided to add bolder colors to the pale palette of shirt patterns in the 1950s.
Although it was founded in New Haven in 1943, GANT stopped production of the iconic shirt in 2014, after relocating to Sweden in 2008.
However, the Yale Office of Marketing & Trademark Licensing collaborated with the Connecticut-based Vineyard Vines to reintroduce an updated version of the shirt and continue the legacy of the Ivy League Look.
“We are very pleased to re-introduce the iconic Yale Co-op oxford through Vineyard Vines. The quality and updated design make it the perfect addition to any wardrobe, while also helping to support Yale’s licensing program,” says Paul Murawski, Yale’s director of marketing and trademark licensing.