200 Years of American Style: The NYC Exhibition

Brooks Brothers’ special retrospective exhibition in Vanderbilt Hall in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal ran from August 6 through September 5, 2018. This was the latest stop for the traveling show “200 Years of American Style,” which debuted in Florence, Italy (where it was hosted at the historic Palazzo Vecchio during the Pitti Immagine Uomo 93 fashion show), and then journeyed to Shanghai, China. The signature event in New York City was a fitting chapter in the story of Brooks’ yearlong bicentennial celebration. It was in this city, after all, that the brand was founded in 1818. 

Thousands of tourists and locals alike discovered the evolution of American fashion with a curated selection of men’s and women’s fashion and artifacts from our historic archives spanning the past two centuries. They learned about our inventions and innovations, such as the ready-made suit, the Original Polo® Button-Down Oxford, the reverse-stripe rep tie, the polo coat and sporting apparel later adapted for daily life—as well as the indelible impact they’ve had on the fashion industry. The exhibition also explored themes and era-defining moments such as the roaring twenties, mid-century Madison Avenue, our lasting effect on college campuses and our unique distinction of having outfitted 40 out of 45 U.S. presidents.

Old and new came together at the exhibition—standing in the center of the space was an 18-foot-tall video sculpture shaped like our signature Golden Fleece logo. One hundred LED screens guided visitors through a visual journey of our history, from our founding in 1818 on the northeast corner of New York’s Catherine and Cherry streets to the Hollywood legends, artists and politicians we’ve outfitted through the years.

The pop-up shop of limited-edition products created to celebrate the milestone 200th anniversary was a fan favorite as well—with visitors scooping up commemorative ties, pocket squares, special gift items.

“200 Years of American Style” was presented in partnership with Citi.