According to the tumblr page where this photo was found, it’s a Ralph Lauren catalog or advertising image dating to 1972. It may be the earliest RL print ad we’ve seen, and I think is notable for how early he had developed his signature narrative, tradition-inspired and aspiration marketing imagery.
Well, 1972 was the introduction of the Polo shirt, of course, but I really don’t think this ad belongs to that decade.
I believe this thread was the first time the image was put on the net http://www.styleforum.net/t/104340/ralph-lauren-spring-1972
The photo was put up by the original poster but after the original post.
@Bob always liked hearing your RL and JA stories.
My god, Chris really does have a photographic memory for photos.
RL forward pleats with interior gussets (how they should be), watch pocket w flap (how it should be), side tabs with d-rings, on seam pockets, welted leg seams extended waist band pant. Sometimes with no flaps on the back pockets, sometimes one flap, sometimes two. Stove piped from the knee down. Thanks for the memories. 😉
Photo’s title: “Damsel in Distress”
It’s so obvious. Poor girl.
Oddly, he’s in 1930’s lawn tennis trousers and sweater while the damsel’s clothing is more modern and summery. The art director clearly knew little about tennis and the weather.
That photo may utilize PRL clothing, and be an ad for Ralph’s products, but I doubt that it was created by the Polo staff for a national ad. Rather, this shot may be done by a retailer of his products at the time. Bruce Weber was shooting Polo’s ads in the early seventies, and his photography and composition was generally far better than the one shown above. My guess would be this is a store ad for newspaper use.
The guy’s hair doesn’t look right for ’72. I’d guess ’78, ’79, or ’80.
I think that’s what the very first comment from 2015 was implying as well.