Here comes ‘True Prep,’ the follow-up to that ’80s publishing artifact.
Remember 1983? Us neither. But that’s the year the original “Official Preppy Handbook” was published, kicking off a pop culture phenomenon and opening the J.C. Penney shoppers of the world into the Ivy League’s closets. Now comes the follow-up, by the same author Lisa Birnbach. But here’s the catch: The sequel of sorts, “True Prep”-which Random House is publishing just in time for required college reading-has book design wunderkind Chip Kidd taking over the creative reins. The handbook-which will delve into how Nuevo Prep and its practitioners have evolved, right down to the most minute of details-includes over 200 illustrations and photographs. Oddly, the timing seems right: a reaction to limousine liberaldom overkill? With Kidd designing, at the very least, expect it to look mighty fine. And wasn’t style over substance part of the prep zeitgeist anyway?