A group of diehard fans let their prep flags fly at the opening of the first Vineyard Vines Manhattan store last night. The outpost sits on the corner of 67th St & 3rd Ave emblazoned with a mural of the signature Vineyard Vines whale by Colossal. Inside, it’s less flagship and more neighborhood hangout for pastel clad prepsters complete with a cash wrap outfitted as a Jarrett Bay boat custom made for the space. At last night’s celebration, it was clear that Shep and Ian Murray, the founders of Vineyard Vines, have achieved a certain rockstar status among the trad crowd. The brothers took a break from chatting with selfie-seeking fans to give us the scoop on the new store and their perfect New York day.
You’ve targeted some really preppy locations in the past – what brings you to New York?
Ian Murray: We’re very excited to be opening our first store in New York on the Upper East Side. You could say that our story started in New York, back in 1998 when my brother and I quit our Manhattan desk jobs within 5 minutes of each other. The Upper East Side was always our NYC stomping ground and we were focused on making our first store in New York a true neighborhood store.
Your motto is “Everyday Should Feel This Good” – what would be on your agenda for the perfect day in New York?
Shep Murray: Burgers at J.G. Melon.
Do you get downtown often? Do you have any favorite downtown haunts?
Ian: We spent more time downtown when we were working in the city years ago, now it depends on our schedule. We try to visit all the major shopping destinations every so often, so we will make our way downtown to Soho to see what other retail brands are up to.
What about when you’re not in the city? We know you two are boating fanatics.
Shep: We spend September-May in Connecticut. We’re at Vineyard Vines HQ almost every day unless we’re traveling for store openings or with our families. During the summer we spend as much time as possible on the water and most likely that means we’re up on Martha’s Vineyard.
You’ve partnered tonight with The New York Junior League – were you two members of any similar clubs for guys?
Ian: We support a lot of charitable organizations both personally and through vineyard vines, our four main focuses being cancer, education, water & Martha’s Vineyard. We’ve always prioritized supporting the communities that supported us, especially at the beginning of our business. We’re both very involved with the Brunswick School in Greenwich, where we grew up going.
What are the staples of a preppy ensemble?
Shep: Staples are khaki pants, oxford shirts, 1/4 zip sweaters, vests, polos, and color in general. Prep is all about having fun with the classics.