'Take Ivy' takes another trip to the U.S.

'Take Ivy' takes another trip to the U.S.

Iconic Japanese photography book of Ivy League campuses in 1965 is out of print in Japan and commands high prices on net auctions. But now it's getting an American re-release in August 2010
Take Ivy
The reprint of Take Ivy just saved you $2,000 which you can put towards an entire wardrobe from J. Press.

With the help of brands like Thom Browne, Engineered Garments and Band of Outsiders, global fashionistas have re-embraced traditional American clothing from Ivy League prep to outdoorsman classics. Ironically, this interest in historical New England attire has directed everyone's attention to somewhere very far away from New Haven and Boston: the island of Japan.

Japan's obsession with Ivy League clothing is now legendary, and in this hope to get all the details right, the hardcore Japanese Ivy fans of the 1960s probably did more to preserve documentation of the style than Americans.

Case in point: "Take Ivy," a photobook released in 1965 through magazine "Men's Club" featuring photos by T. Hayashida of Ivy League campuses. This book is now considered to be the bible of the Ivy League look in Japan.

Fashion fans in the West learned about the book over the last five years, but those hoping to pick up a copy came up against a considerable barrier: the book was out-of-print in Japan and could go for up to $2,000 online. The remedy at first was for netizens to scan every page of the book.

Now comes a much more legal solution: an American publisher will re-release the book in the United States in August 2010 at the very affordable price of $24.95. This will be a blessing for Japanese fans as well, who can import it via Amazon Japan much cheaper and easier than paying for a used copy in Japan.

Even if you are not interested in the clothing or photos, you have to admit, "Take Ivy" is the perfect metaphor for 21st century globalization: Japanese fans will be buying an American reprint of a Japanese book about American style.

W. David Marx was CNNGo's initial Tokyo City Editor. His writing has also appeared in magazines such as GQ, Brutus, Weekly Diamond, and Nylon, as well as his web joural Néojaponisme.

Read more about W. David Marx