Q: I guess you’re more than partially responsible for the preppy rage
A: Brooks Brothers was the foundation, and I revived it. I worked for them and wore all their clothes; I also left them as a consumer when they started making Dacron and polyester. They no longer had a style, and I was a traditional guy. So I saw the opening in the whole market and said, “Well, I want to look like this, and I don’t want to shop here anymore. They’re not moving.” They did change, but they became more ordinary, more mundane. I was not going to be high fashion, but I did believe in individual sophistication, a more customized look – what Brooks Brothers used to be when they were great. That was what I went after, what I love, which is a life-style. Men who had a lot of money would go into Brooks Brothers to buy shirts, and say, “Give me three white, three blue, and three pink,” and they’d walk out. They’d do it every year, year in and out. They weren’t interested in what was the latest this or the latest that. I recognized a certain mentality and security about them. Working there was like going to an Ivy League school; there was an “in-ness,” a quiet “in-ness” about that kind of place.
Dal New York magazine – 21/10/85