Prep is Dead, 
Long Live Prep

Artist-turned-designer 
Greg Lauren goes back 
to his roots for his most 
advanced collection yet.

By Josh Peskowitz

Prep is Dead, 
Long Live Prep

Artist-turned-designer 
Greg Lauren goes back 
to his roots for his most 
advanced collection yet.

By Josh Peskowitz

Prep is Dead, Long Live Prep

Artist-turned-designer Greg Lauren goes back 
to his roots for his most advanced collection yet. 


By Josh Peskowitz

Prep is Dead, Long Live Prep

Artist-turned-designer Greg Lauren goes back 
to his roots for his most advanced collection yet. 


By Josh Peskowitz

What started as an exhibition of hand sewn paper sculptures in 2009 became a full-fledged menswear line by 2011 – this would be a quick turnaround for any artist-turned-fashion-designer, but for Greg Lauren it may have been inevitable. The painter and sculptor, who is the nephew of Ralph Lauren, and son of Jerry (the longtime head of menswear at Ralph Lauren) basically has style in his veins. Despite a life spent steeped in the lore and pageantry of American fashion according to the house of Lauren, Greg’s collection takes a different path.

What started as an exhibition of hand sewn paper sculptures in 2009 became a full-fledged menswear line by 2011 – this would be a quick turnaround for any artist-turned-fashion-designer, but for Greg Lauren it may have been inevitable. The painter and sculptor, who is the nephew of Ralph Lauren, and son of Jerry (the longtime head of menswear at Ralph Lauren) basically has style in his veins. Despite a life spent steeped in the lore and pageantry of American fashion according to the house of Lauren, Greg’s collection takes a different path.

He explores the intersection of East and West, city and country, work and play, heritage and futurism in his collections – often literally. Much of his clothing is bisected or grafted together out of seemingly disparate garments. We don’t know exactly how it works, we just know it does. Greg Lauren’s unique approach to clothing has caught the attention of editors, buyers and customers alike, as well as provided him with some big-name collaborations including last year’s with Moncler and just recently with KITH.  For Spring ‘19 (which, serendipitously, coincides with his uncle’s 50th anniversary) Greg went back to explore his influences growing up. “As a teenager, I had the unique experience of literally living in a beautiful, crafted world of appropriated prep, learning about, and dreaming of all that it symbolized... for better or worse,” says Lauren. This collection pays homage to, and at the same time subverts, the iconic items from Lauren’s formative years in Amagansett, New York, and Princeton University: The Crested Blazer, tennis sweater, pink oxford button down and the pinnacle of beach and surf wear, Birdwell britches.

He explores the intersection of East and West, city and country, work and play, heritage and futurism in his collections – often literally. Much of his clothing is bisected or grafted together out of seemingly disparate garments. We don’t know exactly how it works, we just know it does. Greg Lauren’s unique approach to clothing has caught the attention of editors, buyers and customers alike, as well as provided him with some big-name collaborations including last year’s with Moncler and just recently with KITH.  For Spring ‘19 (which, serendipitously, coincides with his uncle’s 50th anniversary) Greg went back to explore his influences growing up. “As a teenager, I had the unique experience of literally living in a beautiful, crafted world of appropriated prep, learning about, and dreaming of all that it symbolized... for better or worse,” says Lauren. This collection pays homage to, and at the same time subverts, the iconic items from Lauren’s formative years in Amagansett, New York, and Princeton University: The Crested Blazer, tennis sweater, pink oxford button down and the pinnacle of beach and surf wear, Birdwell britches.

Greg Lauren’s work explores the relationship between the idealized and the actual. His world is not one that is airbrushed and perfect – it’s one where heroes struggle with psychological and physical limitations. The tug-of-war between authenticity and fantasy is one that many can relate to, and that tension is visible in the clothing. “I grew up with this notion that you could be like any of your heroes if you just wore the right thing. So, I often play with the irony of wanting to be so many characters, so many archetypes, without doing the work to earn the stories, to earn the history... and yet that is the beauty of clothing, the ability to express one’s self.”

Greg Lauren’s work explores the relationship between the idealized and the actual. His world is not one that is airbrushed and perfect – it’s one where heroes struggle with psychological and physical limitations. The tug-of-war between authenticity and fantasy is one that many can relate to, and that tension is visible in the clothing. “I grew up with this notion that you could be like any of your heroes if you just wore the right thing. So, I often play with the irony of wanting to be so many characters, so many archetypes, without doing the work to earn the stories, to earn the history... and yet that is the beauty of clothing, the ability to express one’s self.”

Consequently, Greg Lauren’s clothes are perfect for the modern era. One where we mash up cultures, ideas and imagery with little, if any, inhibition. Case in point – Greg shot his twisted take on East Coast ‘80s prep on LA’s new cognoscenti. Tattoo Phenom Dr. Woo, actor Will Peltz and The King of Cool’s grandson Chase McQueen all make appearances, as does renowned surfer Colin Whitbread. The juxtaposition makes sense for Lauren’s world; where the man makes the clothes as often as the clothes make the man.

Consequently, Greg Lauren’s clothes are perfect for the modern era. One where we mash up cultures, ideas and imagery with little, if any, inhibition. Case in point – Greg shot his twisted take on East Coast ‘80s prep on LA’s new cognoscenti. Tattoo Phenom Dr. Woo, actor Will Peltz and The King of Cool’s grandson Chase McQueen all make appearances, as does renowned surfer Colin Whitbread. The juxtaposition makes sense for Lauren’s world; where the man makes the clothes as often as the clothes make the man.

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