The morning after unveiling his Prep World pop up store in London, Tommy Hilfiger took to the stage at Central Saint Martins’ Cochrane theater to talk to students about the evolution of his label. He was joined by Lisa Birnbach, the author of “True Prep” and the “Official Preppy Handbook,” who co-hosted the store launch. Hilfiger and Birnbach were quick to note that preppy style had British aesthetics at its roots. “American prep definitely came from England when settlers came on the Mayflower to the United States,” said Birnbach. “I’m not saying they brought knee socks, kilts and rugby shirts, but you know, everything that American preppies wear comes originally in some form from here. You started it, we totally acknowledge it.”

And Hilfiger and Birnbach welcomed the surge in interest in the young British royals as a boost for preppy style. “I think we’re all going to be looking at what Kate is wearing and what William and Harry are wearing,” said Hilfiger. “They’re very preppy — there’s something very cool about royal prep, because it’s the stamp of approval.” “Yes,” Birnbach added, “the Warrant of Prep-dom.”


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