“Go west, young man.”
In 1851 John Babsone Lane Soule coined this phrase in reference to the “Manifest Destiny” seekers of the mid-nineteenth century, but his words were still ringing out over a century later as America’s hippified denizens made the pilgrimage to San Francisco. From the Gold Rush onward, San Francisco had been a proverbial land of opportunity for this country’s itinerant masses, a place for like-minded misfits to come together and find acceptance. While this atmosphere has now unfortunately spawned the monoculture of Silicon Valley, the vibrant and volatile spirit of the sixties still burns on.
It’s this spirit that Beams Plus has channeled for their latest collection, “Frisco Ivy.” If the name isn’t enough of a dead give away (you’ve got to love how on the nose Japanese brands can be sometimes) the collection is a cherry-picked assortment of the Bay Area’s best. There’s a patched up overcoat, an acid-trip fair isle vest, and enough corduroy to appease any Berkeley English professor. Or for that matter, any fan of The Graduate. “Frisco Ivy,” echoes The Graduate actually, as it underscores preppy presentability with a sense of free-spirited abandon. It’s a brilliant Americana amalgamation, once again, brought to us from halfway across the world.