Many remember Polo Ralph Lauren for its reverie-inducing advertisements of the 1980s, a period referred to as the brand’s golden age. The ads had a dreamlike quality, and Lauren often said that he had always wanted to be an actor, and the ads were his way of making movies. They were photographed by Bruce Weber, who became famous for his collaborations with Ralph for much of the ’80s. The two were literally a dream team, and created beautiful fantasy worlds which were completely for sale.
Since then the brand has changed the direction of much of its advertisements, but has used some of the models from the golden age upon occasion. Most recently, two models from the 1980s, Andrew Smith and Tim Easton, were used in Ralph Lauren’s ad campaign last spring.
The theme is dream-like once again and even has a title: “Postcards From Paradise.” This short movie is like a perfected version of what Lauren wanted to portray in the ’80s, when one couldn’t simply make a film and upload it onto a platform where it can be seen by anyone for free.
Though more Slim Aarons and jet-set in inspiration, there are still pockets of prep. Mostly it’s just a fantastic daydream:
While this video does some of the dreamwork for you, it still captures that essence of wonder that the original advertisements exuded. Fans of the original ads undoubtedly recognized the two models and some of the pictures seen in the background, which are framed shots from the 1980s.
This short film clearly pays homage to the ads of old, which makes me wish that some of the golden age campaigns could have been made into movies. In any case, my imagination allows for me to make films of the old ads, which I like to think was always Ralph Lauren’s intention. — GERLANDO SCIASCIA