“Certainly if you’ve ever read Lisa Birnbach’s satirical prep manifesto The Official Preppy Handbook, or Bret Easton Ellis’s first two novels, you know that prep’s ‘80s incarnation was dripping with irony and irreverence. And, in a way, that’s one of the key ingredients of this 2019 reinvention.”
“The best illustration of prep’s more-inclusive 21st century resurgence came, for Carlson, courtesy of Rowing Blazers’ first pop-up shop back in 2017. “Our very first customer to come in was Vic Mensa, the rapper. The second person was Chip Kidd, the co-author, along with Lisa Birnbach, of True Prep, the new version of The Official Preppy Handbook.” A hip-hop star and the woman who literally wrote the book on prep, both fawning over the same striped blazer. Sorry Hoyt, but this prep’s no longer just for you.”
“When Lisa Birnbach put out The Official Preppy Handbook—a guide that poked fun at pop-collared privilege—in the fall of 1980, she caused quite the splash. The book became an instant hit, perhaps most surprisingly with the very group it mocked. If the handbook was a joke, it seems it was one that everyone was in on and one that lives on in Julia Chaplin’s latest book, The Boho Manifesto, a similar tongue-in-cheek how-to for today’s most easily taunted set: the new-age bohemian.”
60 years of Lilly Pulitzer: behind the scenes of an iconic American brand - Celebrating six decades of all-American prep
Birnbach spent time with the real Lilly in 2008 at her Palm Beach home. She met a woman who was “as shocked as anybody that Lilly Pulitzer was meaningful to people.”“She loved the high and low of life,” Birnbach explained. “She wasn’t thinking about being a businesswoman or fashion designer, she was thinking about making a little frock to wear and then her friends admired it. As she told me once, a lot of the fabrics came from the equivalent of a five and dime. They were cotton, they were bright, but they weren’t hand painted or artisanal," Birnbach said.
Lisa Birnbach’s quote from Jean Marbella’s piece about Prep School culture: “We send our children there because we’re choosing an ethos for our children — that character is fundamental and has to be part of the school,” she said. “You’re sending them their for the small classes, the personal attention, the better academic challenges. But they should also understand what the school stands for.”
BROWN UNIVERSITY - MAY 6, 2017
Write Through This: Authors in the New Normal
Lisa Birnbach (’78) moderator: Panelists included fellow Brown alumnae: Bess Kalb (’10), writer, Jimmy Kimmel Live!; Susan Cheever (’65) author, Drinking in America: Our Secret History; and Amy Sohn (’95), author, Run Catch Kiss.
On May 5 and 6, 2017, more than 700 Brown alumnae returned to campus for the two-day 125 Years of Women at Brown Conference, with attendees ranging from graduating classes in the 1950s through the most recent Class of 2016. During a series of panels, seminars and gatherings with fellow alumnae leaders in the education, public policy, government, technology and nonprofit sectors, conference attendees celebrated the historic moment and examined the evolving role of women at Brown and in the world.
REMEMBERING ROBIN WILLIAMS - OCTOBER 5, 2016
Lisa Birnbach moderates a conversation about the work of Robin Williams
WITH BARRY LEVINSON, WHOOPI GOLDBERG, BILLY CRYSTAL, BONNIE HUNT AND HANK AZARIA AT THE GRAND OPENING OF THE SAG-AFTRA ROBIN WILLIAMS CENTER.
“Lisa Birnbach was a thoughtful, interesting, and experienced moderator who helped our panel to celebrate both the professional and personal contributions of Robin Williams. She set the table by asking questions that got us going and allowed the conversations to flow effortlessly. She knew when to interject and when to sit back and listen. That's an underappreciated talent.” - BARRY LEVINSON
Lisa Birnbach, the author best known for co-authoring New York Times Bestseller The Official Preppy Handbook, has put together a review of some of the nation’s top all-female colleges in an effort to determine how they hold up against their coed counterparts, as well as whether “familiar tropes such as horseback riding and lesbianism still apply.”
Cultural commentator and journalist Lisa Birnbach hosts a conversation with three of Broadway's most dynamic and influential directors … who happen to be women. Join longtime artistic director of the Manhattan Theatre Club and award winner Lynne Meadow, Tony award winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman, and Pam MacKinnon, Tony Award and Drama Desk winner, to hear how they broke through the velvet curtains and became sought-after directors on Broadway, and elsewhere. The "Great White Way" has historically been dominated by men. In 2004, only two new plays there were directed by women. By 2013, women won both Tony awards for directing
New York Observer - January 8, 2016
The hallmarks of preppy dressing are being injected into the everyday wardrobes of those who may not have the storied lineage (and bank accounts) of an iconic preppy family.
New York Times - Big City Book Club - November 10, 2015
Ginia Bellafante, the Big City columnist, and Lisa Birnbach, a modern-day chronicler of patrician Manhattan habit and the author of "The Official Preppy Handbook," among other books, held an online discussion about Edith Wharton's "The Custom of the Country." The co-hosts favorite pieces of social criticism, Edith Wharton's "The Custom of the Country."
Click HERE to view the conversation
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As part of the 92nd Street Y's American Conversation Series, Lisa will lead a discussion with the most influential women in Academia today! Come join the discussion with Nancy Cantor (chancellor of Rutgers University – Newark), Amy Gutmann, (president of the University of Pennsylvania), Biddy Martin (president of Amherst College), and Christina Paxson (president of Brown University) to discuss the paths that lead them to their positions, and the challenges they face in the era of overwhelming college loans, the epidemic of sexual assaults, and the specter of online education.