The classic navy blue sweater with a red “P” is no longer solely reserved for juniors.
Traditionally, each year the junior class has the opportunity to order classic “P” sweaters through their Class Board. Hillflint — a collegiate sweater startup founded by two Ivy League graduates — will now start selling the navy blue version of the sweater through their website and at the Penn Bookstore.
Hillflint only recently received a license to use the Penn logo from Penn Business Services, according to Hillflint Co-founder Woody Hines , the company’s chief operating officer. Last semester, Penn students and alumni petitioned Business Services to allow Hillflint a license. The petition had 103 signatures, and Hines received more than 100 emails advocating for Hillflint to sell the “P” sweaters.
Junior Class Board President Jesus Perez said that allowing anyone, including people outside of Penn, to buy the sweaters undermines their importance. He said that Hillflint caters to a more affluent population than the class boards do — Hillflint sweaters are more expensive than class board sweaters — and also noted that the unity and class spirit inspired by the class board sale is something that Hillflint sweaters cannot provide.
“You get this sweater and everyone is so energized and excited and there is this sense of camaraderie among the class,” Perez said.
He mentioned that the class board custom designs the sweaters each year and makes minor changes. This year, for example, the “P” is half an inch longer.
The Junior Class Board has sold 1,600 sweaters this year and will have another sale on Oct. 25 due to popular demand.
Hillflint sweaters are made from merino wool , do not include a class year on the sleeve and cost $95, or $75 if pre-ordered . At the bookstore, Hillflint v-neck sweaters with a felted P will cost $150 . The sweaters provided by the Junior Class Board are made from cotton and cost $35 . Hines said the Hillflint sweaters are “the best quality for the price available, authentic to the school” and inspired by the traditional sweaters worn during the 1960s.
Class of 2017 President and College sophomore Darren Tomasso said he does not anticipate that future sales will decrease now that Hillflint has permission to use the Penn brand.
Hines said he did not “want to tread on the turf of an existing tradition at Penn,” but he acknowledged the differences between the sweaters and encouraged students to purchase both.
Clarification: This article has been updated to show that the sweaters sold at the bookstore are a different sweater with a v-neck and felted P.Comments powered by Disqus
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