Celebrating the Preppy Lifestyle and it's sensibilities


Preppy/Ivy League and WASP Mogul Ralph Lauren, celebrates his birthday today, October 14.

Born Ralph Lifshitz in the Bronx, New York, but later changed his family name to Lauren. He changed it because as he put it "My name had the word s_ _ t in it." Ralph Lauren was fashion aware at a very early age. By spending his hard-earned pocket money on expensive suits, Lauren became the best dressed 12-year-old in his neighborhood . It wasn’t long before the young entrepreneur left his middle class Jewish roots behind him to set out on a quest to establish his very own fashion empire. Rather than study design, he completed most of a business degree and learned his trade
through evening jobs. While working at one of these jobs, he began designing wide ties and
with a $50,000 loan, Lauren founded the company Polo Fashions in 1968. Polo went on to champion the ‘power suit’ of the early 80's in the face of strong competition from Armani. With expansion firm in his sights, Lauren branched out into women's clothing, sheets, towels and furniture. Through sheer hard work and exacting standards, Ralph Lauren has become the epitome of classic fashion, with brands such as
Polo, Ralph Lauren for Men, Ralph Lauren for Women and even Ralph Lauren paint. His
company is estimated to be worth a staggering $900 million.
He is 71 today.


I grew up living in, collecting and shall I dare say having a love affair with  ribbon belts.  You just can't have enough.  Who knows what mood you'll be in day to day.  It is a love affair that has now grown somewhat sour.  Ever since I found Tucker Blair.  I am now officially a convert to needlepoint.  There is just something about the vibrancy of it's color and it's home grown familiarity.  It kind of reminds you of grandma ma doesn't it?  Sitting and working on her needlepoint pillow on a winters evening. Ahhhhhh grandma ma, but I'm digressing.  I remember that I was given one as a child.  It was a teddy bear or at least I think it was.  At the time I refused to wear it because I wanted to be like the grown ups and wear leather belts.  Oh the mind of a silly child.  I wish now that I had kept that belt.  At least for the sake of passing it down to my one day son or daughter.  Which brings me to another thought.  Needlepoint belts are great heirlooms.  If made of high quality, they can be handed down from generation to generation, enter Tucker Blair.

If you are in the market for not only needlepoint belts (and who isn't?) but for the preppiest of needlepoint accessories, Tucker Blair is the place.  It is the preppy new cool.  Many of you already know about Tucker B.  These products have a high quality standard.  It's a preppy brand that has worked it's way into our hearts one customer at a time.  It's even been featured in True Prep, page 105.

 I've just recently had the pleasure of getting with the new preppy cool founder of Tucker Blair himself, Taylor Llewellyn.  He was gracious enough to give the lowdown on the Tucker Blair Brand.

The Preppy Times:  OK I'll admit I've been under a rock for the last year so please indulge me.Where does the name Tucker Blair originate?

Taylor Llewellyn:  Tucker and Blair are two family names of mine and the name just sounded like the type of moniker we wanted to build the brand around.
being available was also really important.

TPT:   The readers like to know the person behind the products. So can you
tell a little about who Taylor Llewellyn really is?

TL:  I grew up in San Francisco and spent summers on cape cod where my mom grew
up. For college I went back east to Colgate where I played football. Spent
a few years post college back in SF working in our family business before
moving to DC to start Tucker Blair. You can usually find me doing anything
sports related and working all hours of the day on TB!

TPT:   I've seen your products and they're pretty awesome, but for the
readers what kinds of products do you sell? And who is your target consumer?

TL:  We really consider ourselves a needlepoint belt company. We've made that
the cornerstone of the business and plan to continue to build on that.
We're trying to get to the point where we have something for everyone in
terms of belt patterns, everything from fishing to football. We're always
working to define who our customer is and the best we've come up with is
"anyone who wants a belt that draws a lot of attention"

TPT:   How did you get started in this business, and why?

TL:  I really wanted to start a business and had always had these awesome belts
made for me growing up. I thought there must be a way to commercialize this
product and bring something to market that was fun and at a reasonable

TPT:   Your products are a Preppies dream come true. Why preppy?

TL:  I think the preppy is an interesting market mix of timeless and fast
growing. I wanted to be in a niche arena because I thought it was a great
way to be a main player in the category right from the day we started.


TPT:   How are your accessories different from what's on the market today?

TL:  Essentially we've bypassed retail distribution and bring our products to
customers through our web store at wholesale prices. I guarantee you won't
find a better quality/value needlepoint belt on the market anywhere.


TPT:  What other type of products can we look forward to from Tucker Blair
 in the future?

TL:  Lots of new belt patterns over the next 18 months and possibly a licensed
college line.

TPT:  What's your inspiration?

TL:  Coming up with designs that remind people of the things they love most and
what they wish they were always doing.

Let's say someone needs a custom product, let's say a belt for their
club event. Do you handle bulk orders?

TL:  We do bulk orders but we're recreating our custom line currently. We hope
to offer custom products again very shortly. If someone comes to us and
wants bulk we're happy to give price breaks on larger orders.

Where else can we find Tucker Blair products?

TL:  Sperry Top-Sider stores nationwide (at the same price point as our site) and

TPT:  If you weren't doing what you're doing now, what would you be doing?

TL:  I would definitely be running another start-up

What's your life goal and motto?

TL:  I'm driven by creating. I really like the process of starting from scratch
and building a product and servicing a customer. I continue to be motivated
by the flexibility and freedom that entrepreneurship offers me.

Do you have any promos, discounts or specials?

TL:  We're always working on cross-promotions, discounts and flash sales. Want
to offer something to your readers??


(As an incentive Tucker Blair is offering 15% off all products with coupon code 'new cool', with compliments of The Preppy Times Thursday Oct. 7th through Oct. 9th)

What are your favorite preppy and/or favorite designers?

TL:  Jmclaughlin, definitely. Bonobos pants are another favorite.

TPT:  Where will Taylor and the Tucker Blair Brand be in 5 years?

TL:  The goal will be to have the best quality, selection and value needlepoint
belts on the market while still delivering amazing customer service. The
company is really process driven more than growth/revenue/profit driven.

TPT:  Lastly, what would you like the readers to know about Taylor?

TL:  That I value loyal customers and genuine feedback more than anything and
appreciate everyone that has taken an active interest in TB.

The Tucker Blair Products are an awesome addition to any wardrobe.  They've even added cotton pique polos to their collection, complete with mallard logo on the collar and chest.  How coooool is that?

Also coming in the spring/summer months, you've got to get your hands......and feet into a pair of these.  These have got to be the best looking flips I've ever seen.

Here is Taylor Llewellyn and the gang from a Tucker Blair Photo Shoot by talented photographer jaime windon, otherwise known as the blonde photographer.  You can find her on

Hey, needlepoint isn't just for us humans.

These are just a few of my favorite items.

Want more Tucker Blair?  You can reach them on
For all you Facebook Junkies become a fan
Also did you know Tucker Blair has a blog?  You can view it at

I would like to thank Taylor Llewellyn for allowing me a little glimpse into what Tucker Blair is all about.  But mostly for allowing me reminisce on my child hood days with my teddy bear needlepoint belt, or whatever the hell it was.  Until next time, belt up my friends.

Posted by O. C. Cavanaugh