Vineyard Vines founders will speak in Oechsle Hall for CIRCLE Entrepreneurship Series
Shep and Ian Murray ’97, the founders and CEOs of Vineyard Vines, will talk about “Entrepreneurship and the Fashion Industry” for the 2004-05 CIRCLE entrepreneurship series organized by Lafayette students 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Oechsle Hall auditorium.
Free and open to the public, CIRCLE events are supported by the Hunsicker Fund, which promotes the study of entrepreneurship at Lafayette.
Now in its fifth year, CIRCLE is organized by Matthew Guadagno ’05 (Short Hills, N.J.), an economics and business major; Noah Payne ’05 (Brookline, Mass.), an A.B. engineering major; Meghan Morel ’07 (Williston, Vt.), a government and law major; Meghan Mannion ’07 (Garden City, N.Y.), an economics and business major; and mathematics and economics majors Martin Lawlor ’05 (Morristown, N.J.) and W. Clint Losch ’06 (Drexel Hill, Pa.), a Trustee Scholar. The students are advised by Christopher Ruebeck and Sheila Handy, assistant professors of economics and business.
The Murray brothers grew up in Greenwich, Conn. and Edgartown, Mass. Before graduating with a business degree from Skidmore College, Shep founded and oversaw several businesses, including a lawn mowing service and Tuition Auto Detailing. He went on to work as a specialist clerk on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and as the youngest account management member of the new business team for Young & Rubicam Advertising on Madison Avenue in New York City.
Ian, an English graduate, also was successful at an early age. An avid musician and songwriter, his band was booked all over the Northeast and sold thousands of records while he was in junior high. After graduating from Lafayette, Ian spent time sailing a charter boat out of Martha’s Vineyard and playing guitar. He too ended up working on Madison Avenue in New York City for a public relations firm.
The inspiration for Vineyard Vines developed from the brothers’ shared hatred of commuting to “suit jobs” in the city. Shep and Ian quit their jobs within 10 minutes of each other and started Vineyard Vines in 1998.
Originally offering a line of neckties for Martha’s Vineyard, Vineyard Vines has grown to include shirts, hats, pants, jackets, swim trunks, boxer shorts, belts, totes, and custom designs. Notable people who have worn the company’s ties include President George W. Bush, President George H.W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, Sen. John Kerry, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
The company has been featured on many TV programs, including “60 Minutes” on CBS, “Today Show” on NBC, “Morning News” and “Business Weekly” on ABC, “Cold Pizza” on ESPN2, “CNN Financial News,” and “Morning Call” on CNBC.