Photos by F.E. Castleberry from Street Etiquette for The Black Ivy.

One of our favorite sites in terms of the integration of style and purpose in street culture is Street Etiquette headed up by Travis Gumbs and Joshua Kissi. In their latest project, with photographer F.E. Castleberry, they take on the world of prep fashion, street, art, and education in a project called “The Black Ivy.”

The concept, as Travis Gumbs explains it, is to correspond with school season and pay tribute to the first black colleges that paved the way for many young people today combined with the integration of style, character, education, and art.


From The Black Ivy Project.

The results are quite inspirational, not only for the fashion represented, but the people, including one of our favorites, Ouigi Theodore from The Brooklyn Circus who we’ve interviewed on Label Networks TV a couple of years ago in Brooklyn, and again during Project Fashion trade show last August.

The guys represented cover a cross section of styles which are all ingrained in street and integrated with intellectual prep, including cardigans, fitted button down shirts and jackets, cable knits, scarves, turned-up denim, tassels, loafers, topsides, and varsity jackets. Classic pieces “of the cultured male” but with an upscale urban edge that’s clearly trendsetting in terms of the evolution of style.

Set in the backdrop of Ivy-covered university buildings in the NorthEast, the overall effect is quite stunning as what could have ended up being a simple fashion shoot, is transformed into a project that defines a new era in men’s fashion. By taking bits of the past with classics and tying in elements of education, character, and exceptional photography, the end result has become a greater story.

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