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The Ivy Look Rebels

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One of our favorite menswear blogs, Ivy Style, just posted a picture last week (above, left) of Tokyo teenagers in mid-60s sporting the Thom Browne look decades before the designer even had a collection. The youth tribe was called the Miyuki-zoku, who suddenly appeared in the summer of 1964. The group’s name came from their storefront loitering on Miyuki Street in the upscale Ginza shopping neighborhood. The Miyuki-zoku were mostly in their late teens, a mix of guys and girls, and likely numbering around 700 at the trend’s peak. Since they were students, they would arrive in Ginza wearing school uniforms and have to change in to their trendy digs in cramped café bathrooms. The Miyuki-zoku had first found inspiration for the Ivy look through a new magazine called Heibon Punch. The periodical was targeted to Japan’s growing number of wealthy urban youth, and part of its editorial mission was to tell kids how to dress. Prior, most insight for American style came from stationed GI’s in WWII. We still find it very interesting that at the time, the choice to wear oxford cloth button down shirts, skinny wool suits and madras jackets was seen as an anti-authority, rebellious action, especially due to the upcoming start of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. In the fall of 1964, more than 200 kids “in madras plaid and penny loafers” were hauled to jail to end the influence of the Western look.

Even today, it’s clear that boundary-pushing men all over the world still adopt classic menswear items into their wardrobes with an anti-establishment intention.

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