Whale belt from New Girl

Regular viewers of American comedy TV series New Girl will know that basically there is not product placement in the show. Zooey Deschanel has been wearing her own Oliver Peoples glasses and she and her friends drink fictional Heisler beer.

Well, in the third episode of the season 2 the guys mentioned IKEA several times, but the most interesting “brand” from that episode was Schmidt’s whale belt.

Whale belt in New Girl (2012, Fox, screen capture)

Schmidt showed his belt to Winston and Nick. Here’s a bit of conversation from the episode

Schmidt: “It’s after Labor Day. I’m wearing whales.”

Winston: “The dumbest thing ever.”

Nick: “You look like the bad guy in an ’80s high school movie.”

Schmidt: “I’ll have you guys know that Kanye wore this belt, okay? Let me just say that word one more time: Kanye.”

Nick: “Kanye?”

Schmidt: “Yeah, and he looked beautiful in it. His whole midsection lit up.“

Schmidt’s belt is very similar to Vineyard Vines belts, especially that one:

Vineyard Whale Canvas Club Belt

Since the episode included some jokes on Mitt Romney’s behalf the choice of whale belt was obvious, but also very clever.

Vineyard Vines is known for incorporating NFL’s, NHL’s, MLB’s as well as political symbols, e.g. donkey, elephant, and American flag ties. Also, in 2004, Senator John Kerry wore a Vineyard Vines donkey tie that was distributed throughout his campaign staff. President George W. Bush also had a line of campaign ties from Vineyard Vines. In 2008, President Barack Obama was presented with a version of the tie which had an ‘O’ on the tail.

Additionally Vineyard Vines is a brand that has a strong connection with the preppy/frat culture. Designer Chip Kidd said in one interview, that Kanye West has certainly had an impact in making preppy style popular again: “He brought preppy from poolside at the country club to street-side in New York. He’s also one reason that the style has evolved from a predominately white trend to one that spans every race. African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians universally dress preppy. It’s much more inclusive in terms of race than it was perceived to be before.”

I haven’t found any photos of Kanye wearing Vineyard Vines whale belts, though, but if you find it, let me know.


EDIT (24. October 2012):

As you can see in the comments section, Schimdt’s belt could be made by the Connecticut, USA based company Leather Man Ltd. and not by Vineyard Vines.

I’ve sent a message to Leather Man Ltd. via Facebook and I’ll let you know if I got an answer.

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  1. Really enjoy your blog, I found it while trying to locate a pair of sunnies worn by Jane on Happy Endings epi. Started reading your posts, and wanted to say t Leather Man Ltd. is behind Schmidt’s Whale belt. They are located in Connecticut, and I think it is cool they got placed in this show, esp since Vineyard Vines is the more well known of the two companies.


  2. I have a belt almost identical to that of Schmit’s (my whale’s are white, not pink) and I can confirm that it’s made my Leather Man Ltd. who, as Jennifer has said, are based in Essex, CT.

    I picked it up from a thrift store in Brooklyn, so couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it in the episode!

  3. Hi Victoria.

    Thanks for your comment, but I remembered that I’ve got the response from Leather Men Ltd. It says: “Well we have to admit, it is not us… Think it is YRI. Although we can make the exact same belt in the US with even better leather and quality.”