One flip through a 1940s Skull and Bones year book and it becomes apparent that the Ivy League was essentially a white experience. Twenty years later, Take Ivy documented within its iconic pages that the demographic had not really changed (there was one black student featured on page 83). Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs, of the New York style blog Street Etiquette, embody an appreciation for that very Ivy League aesthetic in their own style. Although inadequately represented as blacks in the definitive document of this particular style, they champion it. Today, the lasting effects of affirmative action have granted minorities a significant place in Ivy League universities. The duo felt compelled to introduce The Black Ivy in the spirit of T. Hayashida’s collection of candid photographs some 45 years ago. It is this appreciation of Ivy League style that made collaborating with Kissi and Gumbs a likely partnership.
City College of New York serves as the landscape to The Black Ivy. And suitably so. Ivies scale the 160 year old brick and stone exteriors with vim. Its neo-Gothic campus was used to depict Harvard in the 1990 film Reversal of Fortune and more recently played host on several occasions to the American teen drama Gossip Girl. Kissi and Gumbs rounded up two dozen of their most dapper friends to hit the books...and the Shephard Hall lawn for a game of football.
Photographed in New York, NY (enlarge)