During a dinner in Paris, we noticed a kid ride by on his skateboard wearing a Franklin & Marshall College sweatshirt and baseball cap. He definitely stood out as super American in the Parisian streets and was doing what all the guidebooks told men not to do – dress like that. A few hours later I noticed another kid with a Franklin & Marshall shirt. My thought was “Wow, Franklin & Marshall’s got a pretty good study abroad contingent here.”
Then throughout the trip I saw multiple F&M students and then in London saw even more of them. I literally was thinking “Man, for a small school they are just taking over Europe!” the entire time. It wasn’t until I walked through London’s Nordstrom-style department store Selfridges that I noticed next to Calvin Klein, Polo, and all the high end clothing lines a Franklin & Marshall section.
Apparently, some Italian kids a few years ago started a clothing line using a used Franklin & Marshall College t-shirt they found in a second hand store in London. The “American College Style” look is apparently hip and you can buy a Franklin & Marshall t-shirt for 50 Euros (that translates to about $64). Why those kids just don’t buy a Franklin & Marshall shirt from the school website for half the cost is beyond me. The funny part is according to the site, the actual college didn’t know this was going on for a few years and were just as confused as to why there were so many F&M kids in Europe. They eventually licensed their name to the clothing company.
So if you’re curious as to why there are so many Franklin & Marshall youths in Europe – they’re probably not from Lancaster, PA.