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Cause and effect
Author Louis Proyect
Date 09/08/07/06:32
Hit Count 304

Harvard Licenses Clothing Line Amid ‘Preppy’ Upswing
By John Lauerman

Aug. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Harvard University, the world’s richest school, licensed its name to a maker of designer clothes to take advantage of a taste for seersucker, khakis, loafers and other “preppy” attire.

The clothing line, labeled Harvard Yard, will be made by New York-based Wearwolf Group Ltd., which licensed the Cambridge, Massachusetts, school’s name through its Verus Group subsidiary, Verus said today in an e-mailed statement. The financial terms weren’t disclosed. Harvard has the right to approve clothing designs, said Jeffrey Wolf, Wearwolf executive vice president, in a telephone interview.

Designs from Harvard Yard, named for the grassy area encircled by some of the school’s oldest buildings, will be sold in department and specialty stores, Wolf said. Trousers starting at $195, shirts at $160 and up, and sportcoats costing $495 have been designed to reflect Harvard’s “quality, heritage and excellence,” he said.

“Harvard is the ideal -- the pinnacle,” Wolf said. “When you think of modern prep, you think of New England and the Northeast. You think campus, quads, and you think Harvard.”

The licensing was arranged by IMG Worldwide Inc., a New York-based sports, media and entertainment management company whose clients include the golfer Tiger Woods. Jim Gallagher, an IMG Worldwide spokesman, had no immediate comment. Nor did John Longbrake, a spokesman for the 373-year-old university.

Harvard obtained a trademark on the phrase “Harvard Yard” for clothing, mainly T-shirts, in December, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Web site. A second application, for use on shirts, pants, jackets and other clothing, is pending.

Wearwolf makes private-label clothing for Cincinnati-based Macy’s Inc. and Hampstead, Maryland-based Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., Wolf said. Making name-brand clothes has been “a dream of mine,” he said.

Harvard, established in 1636, estimates its endowment lost 30 percent in the fiscal year ended June 30. While its fund remains the largest in higher education, the school has frozen salaries, cut staff and scaled back services, including hot breakfasts for students.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Lauerman in Boston at jlauerman@bloomberg.net.

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