Last month Ralph Lauren’s store in the Manhattan neighborhood of SoHo reopened after a remodel. If the uptown Rhinelander mansion is a sartorial Disneyland, then this store is Six Flags.
But whereas the Rhinelander features other RL labels such as Purple Label and RLX, the SoHo shop is devoted almost entirely to Blue Label. And given the label’s return to its roots, that means it’s now a spacious emporium filled with English and collegiate bric-a-brac from the decor warehouses. In other words, it’s possibly more fun than even the Rhinelander for immersing in visual overload.
So consider yourself warned. Here are 45 mannequins according to my count, as well as additional store shots, with patches, logos and colors galore. — CC
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I wonder if any of these looks are styled by Ralph himself.
Thanks C.C. for the visual feast!
If I see made in China on any of the labels, I’m not interested…
A lot of the outfits seem to be nigh-identical to what was posted the other day.
They seem to be pushing waistcoats in a big way.
I’m sure the critics will swarm this post as well, but in my opinion there are some fantastic items in the collection.
That camel hair polo coat ist superb, and this season they even removed the tartan collar lining. It’s my ultimate grail item, too bad it’s **** expensive. Some of the sport coats are nice, too.
Thanks for providing the visuals CC!
We don’t need no stinking badges.
Enough of the unbuttoned button down collars; enough of the pinned/clipped collars.
It all looks much better here – in context and on mannequins – than it does on the RL website. One supposes it has all been designed to be shown together in this way and in that type of setting, which is why I like to peruse the Bond Street store every now and then. The old website they had was like an online version of one of their stores (or even concessions), the new website is horribly bright and sterile, like someone else’s generic department store that is merely carrying their product. CC’s presentation is the type of thing that really gets the aficionado’s animal spirits rising and their wallets thumping. RL ought to rethink their whole online presence and perhaps return to imagery more like that seen above.
Thanks for more photos. Have not been to SoHo Store since the remodel. Looking forward to seeing it next time I visit NYC.
My understanding is that Polo recently announced that it revised its online store and that the current online store reduced its online expenses. It is my observation that starting with Spring 2018, regular prices have been reduced from previous offerings.
I agree with Anon, RL does camel hair overcoats like nobody’s business!
RL used to have great photos in their ads, especially those by Bruce Weber. I think it is worth leafing through old Interview issues just to look for these.
As with the last group of PRL photos Christian posted, the tweeds look great, as do the camel hair polo coat and the doeskin blazer. I am also generally a fan of vests, either matching or odd vests, particularly in suede, or Tattersall. The Andover Shop used to make rather a specialty of them. The tweed and corduroy vests above look quite nice, provided they are worn without a belt buckle or length of shirt protruding from the bottom. The shawl-collar cardigan looks good to me as well. However, I can do without the shredded jeans and various logos, crests and patches. Overall, I think there is much to like, and I welcome all signs of a return to Anglo-American tailored clothing as distinct from “athleisure” wear.
What they are doing here is trying to appeal to two distinct customer groups within the same mannequins. The tailored clothing is for their traditional customers, and the logo-clad brighter stuff is their attempt to capitalize on nostalgia for a niche subset called ‘Lo (as in “Polo”) Heads and/or ‘Lo Lifes. Google them and you will see what I mean plus understand the recent limited edition collections they have “dropped” such as Snow Beach, and Stadium ‘92. It’s a play to capture part of the streetwear culture that has become popular over the past decade.
Martin – yes, the Buzzy Kerbox era with the all white sportswear still gives me pangs of nostalgia.
JWK – perhaps you ought to browse the women’s offerings, the prices are eye-watering and my wife is banned from looking there. Prices are getting to late 1980s silliness again. The US economy must be booming….
@Benjamin, I agree. It’s not my cup of tea but it’s a smart play for the streetwear RL fans, and still gives me a lot to appreciate.
I think it’s useful to think of 3-4 years ago, when “normcore” and “athleisure” were reaching their zenith. It seemed safe to assume that we’d all be either dressed like ironic Seinfeld characters or sexless, vaguely futuristic beings covered in synthetic. Looks like the future wasn’t so grim after all.
Possible essay there, Eric. Think about it and reach out if you want to brainstorm.
There’s plenty to love on these mannequins. Love the tweeds, the shawl collared vests and cardigans, classic patterned ties (incl the trademark bridle-over-tartan plaid and horiz stripe knits). That’s the good (the very, very good), but there is some bad and ugly. Like Charlottesville, I hate the shredded jean look, although there may be a secondary demographic they’re trying to appeal to. And for just plain silly there are the chrome yellow cartoon pants (oy!) and a mannequin with a rugby shirt and necktie (seriously?). And who doesn’t love to wear sweat pants with a necktie? That’s the way to dress to impress, but not sure who.
Thanks for the info on “‘Lo Lifes”, as I could not for the life of me figure out just who would wear the super-logoed stuff. Maybe high school kids showing off parents’ money, but other than that…???
With my compliments:
Of course there’s a lot of stuff here that’s not “great” (in that it doesn’t play to our interests) but there’s a lot, from a trad/preppy perspective, to be wicked happy about. Now, to get my hands on that yellow cableknit like it’s 1986….
Some very nice looks along with logomania and ripped jeans. I have found RL very overpriced and often of questionable quality, but some nice esthetics.
I’ll take the Rhinelander store. I miss the luxe in these images.
Great collection this fall. I really enjoyed the tweeds from Rhinelander. RL seems to be offering longer collar points, particularly on their oxford dress shirts. Great stuff.
Was in Chicago this past weekend for a wedding at the Univ. Club there, and took a stroll on the Miracle Mile. Saw the windows at RL and went in. The tweeds are, indeed, beautiful to look at and to touch in the hand. A nice collection of knit ties on display too. A couple of other observations:
– the heavily logoed stuff seemed to have been segregated into a “streetwear” section on the second floor, and it was enormous; a lot of crap, but it was full of people who apparently like crap; and
– the Purple Label shop was the other half of the second floor, and the clientele appeared to be exclusively Asian and Middle-Eastern. Since the evening wedding was formal, I thought I’d treat myself to a whimsical new bow tie, but I didn’t have a spare $295 in my pocket (to say nothing of the $5,900 I would have needed for a beautiful cream-colored, shawl-collared dinner jacket).
Guessing I’m the only ancient throwback who loathes the pair of split vents in the back of those beautiful tweed sportcoats. It’s center or nothing for me. Not budging.
No vent at all is even better.
At the Rhinelander mansion I saw a mannequin wearing a Letterman jacket over a brown sportcoat over a matching brown vest over a rugby with a tie… I snapped a picture because it was beautiful. Beautiful but unrealistic.
@Christian: Thanks for taking the time to upload images of all the mannequins. Your photography skills are up to the same high caliber as your writing skills, a real tour de force.
IntransiGent–I couldn’t agree with you more regarding the single vent. Probably a function of my age. Turning 69 next week.
I’m 74, and I assure you that no vent is even better than a single vent.
Presumably you don’t ride…
Long time lurker; first comment
While I love the way RL presents his stuff, I could never dream of paying RRP for any of it. It’s a TJ Maxx brand to me (actually, TK Maxx here in England). Sure, you aren’t going to see the full range in there, but enough Polo is in there on a regular basis – including quirky accessories like the belts – that I actually cannot fathom anyone who pays RRP for anything from RL.
The faux-military items (especially in prior post on this store) bother me. Some things must be earned. Alternately, my young daughter likes to wear my old military jacket. But otherwise, it is not only phony but disrespectful.
Thanks for the comprehensive view of PRL, circa 2018, in the past weeks. For someone like myself, who was selling Polo neckwear to early adopters in 1968, these lovely photographs are the perfect foil to the deconstruction of the men’s clothing business that has ensued over the last couple of decades. Ralph remains the soul of good taste in the Anglo-American tradition. Even his detractors are influenced by him, though they seldom admit it.
If you would like to see the real soul of good taste in the Anglo-American tradition, please go here:
I agree with the single vent crowd.
I agree with Michael Brady, between 1968 and 1979 all RL’s clothing was made in the USA, all the woolens and accessories were made in Great Britain or Ireland with a few exceptions. The only things I can criticise RL in the early years are the coat lapel width and the lobster bib size ties, although they were beautiful.
Weekends are a different world. You should see the Purple Label room on a weekday, North Shore guys and the occasional pro-ball player.
@Benjamin: I don’t known a lot about ‘Chicagoland’ – what is a “North Shore guy”?
I too knew nothing about North Shore guys. Then I
discovered something called Google, and found this:
The Orange County of Middle America. An area of about 10 exclusive suburbs along Lake Michigan just north of Chicago. The area includes Evanston, Wilmette, Glenview, Northfield, Winnetka, Kenilworth, Glencoe, Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park and Lake Forest. The area is most noted for it’s extreme wealth and huge homes.
I’m late to this post, by a year. With the exception of the torn jeans, and oversized emblems, I’m find of the overall look. It harkens back to Polo’s glory days of the 1980. As for the display items, the antiques, I’ve always loved them.
Why am I just finding the site in 2020, please publish more!!!!