Boast couldn’t have chosen a more perfect place to display its collection. Held at the Harvard Club in Midtown Manhattan, the walls full of literature and animal busts, the setting only added to the rich-kid-gone-rogue attitude of the clothes.
“There are squash players upstairs wearing Boast right now,” the company’s President John Dowling, a Harvard man himself, told us. “We’ve got Ivy League roots.” Though the brand has been a prep school staple for four decades, this is its first proper fall collection. Brimming with fully layered-up outfits for the “upscale slacker,” several models accessorized with vintage tennis rackets and sweatbands–a uniform Harry Brant might wear for an afternoon at the Kennedy Compound. Nothing was revolutionary, but the rugby polos, blazers, and athletic-inspired jackets for both men and women proved that Boast has prep chops far beyond the realm of Abercrombie.
Designer Daniel Pepice went for a cinematic approach with this collection, taking inspiration from tennis-driven films like Door in the Floor and Funny Games. One menswear look in particular (a dark navy shirt under a white sweater) was inspired by a team of murderous tennis players in the latter movie.
“It’s athletic with an edge,” he said. As for the technically fall/winter collection’s lack of full-length pants? Pepice explains that the Boast customer is athletic year-round. “Just because it’s cold out, doesn’t mean you’re not still active,” he said. “My friend just biked to meet us for dinner last night.” As freezing cold as that friend may have been (it’s COLD!), if he was wearing Boast, no doubt he looked the part.
The clothes were effortless prep at its best; a Rugby Ralph Lauren (RIP) with soul and an actual lineage to fall back on. As Dowling puts it, “The nice thing about Boast is we don’t have to make this stuff up. This is the heritage brand. We’re not posing.”