Overlooking a harbor in the coastal city and financial hub of Stamford, Conn., sits a four-story, 91,000-square-foot monument to prep. Inside, a chipper receptionist in a chambray top, white ankle jeans, and boat shoes greets guests from a desk elaborately modeled like a ship’s stern. Fishing rods book-end the room and there's a grinning pink whale mounted on the wall. Everything about the new headquarters of Vineyard Vines oozes New England high society.
Sitting in a sailing-themed room off their shared office on the fourth floor, brothers Shep and Ian Murray, Vineyard Vines' founders, recall their former digs. Not so fondly, it turns out. “It was an abandoned clutch factory that we fit up and made as nice as we could, but it wasn’t what you had in your mind when you thought about Vineyard Vines,” says Ian, the 40-year-old younger brother. Shep, 44, doesn't mince words: “Our old office was a concrete bunker with razor wire around it,” he says. So it's a lot different from the Connecticut oasis the brothers have built for their team of almost 200 corporate employees. The second floor is made up like the Florida Keys, complete with a lounge that looks like a tiki bar, while the third floor is an ode to the Bahamas. (A wooden lobster trap doubles as a coffee table.) The top floor, with the Murrays' office, represents Martha's Vineyard. "This is just—it’s amazing,” says Shep.