A Personal Journey of Style
The IVY Street Capsule Collection is a story I’ve wanted to tell since first putting together the initial plans for what would become Division Road. Born from mid-90’s East Coast streets and 60’s Ivy League campuses, the theme we put together this year comes straight from my formative years navigating colliding cultures in Washington, DC. Music and art fused with a wardrobe style that was ironically informed by the collegiate tastes of baby boomers and their aspirational country club lifestyles. That, combined with workwear and military garments that met the needs of the Northeast’s urban inhabitants, created a distinct look that has since become lost in time. Ivy Street blends these eras and movements, unique in their historical positioning, to present something completely novel for the modern man with singular and specifically developed patterns, materials, and applications that will undoubtedly become inspirations for the next generation and beyond.
I do not often make personal statements through Division Road about style or influences, or much at all, unless I’m on the shop floor in one of my filter-less moments. Our brand, shop, team, community, and everything we’ve worked to build is bigger than me. However, on the eve of our third year of business and having a marginal impact in our niche, it felt appropriate to relate my style journey and story through the development of this annual Capsule Collection, IVY Street. Growing up in Washington, DC in the 80’s and 90’s, I lived a half-life between a college prep school environment and the street. I saw two sides of society distanced culturally and economically, yet with common aspirations. This polarity, an inherently American attribute of our society, has always interested me and drives how we approach our work at Division Road.
In my city, I had two choices - to hide behind the gates of circumstance or embrace the truths of city life. During that time hip-hop, street art, and style intertwined and rapidly moved towards a creative apex. These expressions changed daily, and it seemed like every moment I would hear and see something novel and inspiring. Back then fashion was dominated by branding and marketing. Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, and Nautica were the iconic Northeastern style influences in both cultures of privilege and street. Whether it was for a poor kid in the projects or a privileged suburbanite, these brands represented the American ideal of “making it”. The combination of workwear with the prep aesthetic was logical given many residents of the inner-city were in manufacturing, construction, or city jobs and the shops selling Carhartt and Timberland were plentiful in any East Coast city’s core. Given that these cities were struck with regular crime waves, the addition of military garments and camouflage into streetwear also had a functional utility and communicated the world in which we lived, which was very much a battle ground.
All of these contrasting yet relevant influences were coordinated and aligned to define an entirely new East Coast Street style. Along with the clothes, the music mix was dark and different, gritty and fresh, elevated yet raw, and every day whatever your discipline was in the culture, you pushed your game to new levels. One’s ability to creatively combine brands and elements into an outfit became a qualifier for credibility and status. The corner was as good as any place to test your flex, and if you didn’t put an outfit together correctly or had some off-brand gear, you would get made fun of at least, beat down at worst, and squander the respect we all worked hard to achieve. Think of it as a style boot camp. Clothing was important in city life because, done properly, it made you a king within a tough, rough, and hard existence. If you came correct with your dress, you were something special regardless of what you did for work, or where you came from.
Broadly, those early days were training, and speak directly to our DR perspective toward collaborations, our merchandise mix, and aesthetic. I picked up some formidable principles in those days like the fact that a silhouette and palette were all important as a guide towards a successful composition. Further, a good code to make an outfit was to always coordinate to a degree and then allow for just the right amount of contrast whether it be color, style, pattern, or texture. In the same vein as music of this era, art and clothes were also sampling the original to make something totally fresh. This also became an attribute of my style journey: as my understanding about garments grew over the years, I used these foundations to focus on fabric, production methods, and taking entrenched classics or elements with historical importance and making them new again.
Today, I don’t see the same push for credibility. Trend-based style references seemingly come from people who have viewed streetwear culture from afar or weren’t of age during the movement. The original “look” is not available on Google searches, and is often mis-communicated in music videos, which makes the reference points almost impossible to find unless you were there. No one was in Brick City, Philly, Queens, or Chocolate City taking street-style photography. I find that much of the current products and styling being called “90’s streetwear” seem to be pulled from a bad episode of Fresh Prince, and if you wore that stuff back then, you would never live it down. Hence, using the experience of the fashion truth of that time, our method with the Ivy Street Capsule Collection was to take the right references and re-work them properly for our customers today. Each item encompasses that movement, for all those who may or may not have been there, to suitably pay respect to this past era while creating something different and original for the future.
IVY STREET COLLECTION
We start with footwear first, driven by an old-school East Coast mindset that you should always work bottom-up for stylistic consistency. Brett Viberg is a seasoned street, work, and military-wear enthusiast, so working with him and the Viberg team was easy in concept and practice to develop two boots that paid homage to the history in completely new ways. However, we put a significant amount of effort into this development, which first took place by creating a whole new pattern based on Viberg’s insulated hunting boot that debuted in the 80’s. Combining the idea of the vintage hiking and hunting boot, produced with some new tricks and twists, our work yielded a stunning New Hunter. The boot is built on the 2040 Last to complement the classic lines and uses Horween’s Charcoal Chamois to further its elegant and mean upper with a dual padded collar, split eye stay, black wash on leather welt and midsole, with traditional Goodyear welting atop a commando sole to once again iterate the inspiration.
Unable to stop at one, Viberg sourced a USA-produced Wheat Nubuck leather that was also developed to be used on the Roughout side featuring a tremendous golden-brown color with a rough napped finish, a final product that made us all nostalgic just looking at it. Going back to the trough of patterns, we instantly knew to use one of our favorite workboot outliers, the Bobcat. As we love this pattern with all of its curved overlapped counter to quarter over vamp glory, often we want to use it in a special and limited way. Keeping things tonal but warm to contrast the Hunter, we went with brass eyelets, a natural midsole, and a commando sole with stitchdown construction to appropriately hallmark this old Viberg classic. Taking it one step further on both pieces, we brought back the Viberg workboot banner stamp logo for the quarters to give subtle vintage touches on these re-imagined designs.
As the perfect complement to both of these make-ups, the outerwear development was key. I think, next to a timepiece and a car, a hallmark outpost in any gentleman’s style journey is a leather jacket. It allowed us to begin working with Cromford Leather Company in London, who hand-make completely unique pieces one at a time on Chiltern Street. Founded in the 70’s out of Savile Row schooling and a heightened philosophy towards leather outerwear, Cromford has made some of the most impressive and iconic shearling and leather jackets for British fashion houses and major motion pictures. We used an archive pattern and adapted its fit elements to create a tailored and refined version of a B-3 and RAF jacket, popular both in the 60’s and 90’s. Designed with a single shearling hide in mind, we then amended every element of the pattern in terms of collar size and shape, pocketing size and construction, hardware, fit, and grading to create a timeless and more climate-appropriate piece. Always striving to take things to the next level, we worked with Cromford and their tannery to create a limited run, hand dyed charcoal with low curl natural shearling. The uncurled sheer body gives a fur-like softness and cuts down on over-insulation, while the hand curled collar, cuffs, and hem give a more traditional appearance to the piece.
Knitwear was one of my favorite categories to collect in my early style development and remains an oft-forgotten interest point to this day. Thus, we went to the almost century-old knit sportswear makers, Dehen 1920, for some authentically new creations. Taking a completely new beastly yet sophisticated Zip Moto Hoodie that Dehen made for this Fall-Winter, we developed an IVY Monogramed chainstitched logo on felt and two-toned striped sleeves using our iconic ivy-forest green and off-white for the collection. Then we developed another completely new and exclusive to Division Road Pattern based on a vintage Football Sweater with a V-neck collar. With most of the design focused on a proper wide ribbed collar dimension, shape, and presence, we added refinements like a slightly curved hem and straight cuffs with signature Dehen reinforced elbow patches. Keeping this piece subdued but respecting the theme of Ivy League meets Streetwear, we incorporated the striped sleeves without over-decorating with logos.
Buttondowns are very much a part of our aesthetic and single uniform perspective at Division Road. For an archived approach and the right mid-90’s reference points, Gitman Vintage was as true of a place that one can go. After sorting through their extensive fabric archives we found two perfect plaids that matched our collection’s palette while remaining unique in their own right, as wardrobe staple pieces that balance, ground, and inform an outfit. Re-milled as a twill in a once brushed flannel for a three-season weight, the fabrics were refreshed for our ensemble from the 90’s Gitman Bros. collections. Equal parts prep and workwear, the shirts ended with a decidedly vintage look.
Sometimes we need more of a leveling piece than a next level statement garment. This Herringbone Twill Modern Military Trouser in our exclusive fit touts an understated elegance with a casual feel that brings together the bolder portions of an ensemble. With a wide top block and gracefully tapered leg, this trouser has one of our favorite fit and leg silhouettes in the market. The trousers feature a military pocket configuration, enhanced with a USA-made herringbone twill in a Fatigue Green. Finally, we garment washed them for a slightly worn aesthetic to hallmark the chinos, trousers, and military bottoms that we’ve spent our lives chasing, breaking in, and treasuring.
During my formative years I could often be found in either a Homestead Grays or vintage White Sox cap. In that vein, using a similar historic wool broadcloth in the signature Travel Gray and our IVY Monogram logo with embroidered application, we developed a unique fitted cap with Ebbets. The other hat I would normally rock (and still do) is a knit beanie. Back then, the best available were just acrylic caps with the Hilfiger “H” Logo or an Eddie Bauer cursive. So, we took the opportunity to do something we would have loved back then, if only accessible, and produced a thematically consistent deadstock Old Gold color with the IVY filigree logo.
We are happy to announce a new partnership with Fundamental Coffee Co., featuring a special Ivy Street Brew. We wanted this to reflect the popular French and Italian Dark roasts to highlight the classic taste and function of East Coast coffee. Focusing on their craft, raw product quality and sourcing, the defining creative successes found in the taste profile of Fundamental Coffee roasts aligns with the attributes we look for in our wears.
Finally, as a signature development to the collection, we worked with Jamie King and Andy Luce to produce the perfect logos for Ivy Street. Rather than over-adorn these pieces, we kept the original manufacturer’s branding but included our embroidered Monogram “Bootleg” Patch with signature pieces in the collection to use as you see fit.
In line with the vision, each piece, from the boots to the bomber to the patches, is meant to be a collaboration with your own vision of style. This collection, along with Division Road and the community it has created, is a meaningful milestone for me as it invites you to use these pieces to fuel your own image of what it looks like to “Be True.” By treating yourself, your neighborhood, and your style references with respect, you make it yours.
- Jason Pecarich, Proprietor
Ivy Street blends eras and movements of the past, unique in their historical positioning, to present something completely novel for the modern man with singular and specifically developed patterns, materials, and applications that will undoubtedly become inspirations for the next generation. The resulting collection is a crew of iconic designs, rough yet tailored and derived from reference points distilled from the first-hand experiences of Division Road’s founder and his life in Ivy Street, produced in collaboration with select manufacturers: Viberg, Gitman Vintage, Cromford Leather, Dehen 1920, Shockoe Atelier, Ebbets Field Flannels, and Fundamental Coffee Co.
THE EVENT: Friday, October 5th, 5-8PM PDT
Join us for coast-correct cheese-steaks and cakes, craft cocktails and coffee, and head-bobbin’ beats as we celebrate our Anniversary and the debut of our annual Capsule Collection, Ivy Street, where we take a refined eye to an era of unrestrained creativity and grit.