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When Ralph Lauren launched his fashion business 50 years ago with a line of men’s neckties that were wider than what was usual at the time, it’s safe to say the concept of merchandise “drops” in the vein of Supreme and Kith hadn’t even been thought of.
But trust the Big Daddy of American menswear to supersize the concept, with an exclusive 83-piece anniversary team-up dropping this week with online retailer Mr Porter.
The new assortment includes styles from all three of the Ralph Lauren marquee men’s brands — the preppy Polo Ralph Lauren that started it all, the poshly tailored Ralph Lauren Purple Label and the western-influenced RRL. As the first capsule collection ever across all three brands, it covers all manner of ready-to-wear, accessories and footwear and draws inspiration from the designer’s presumably bulging archive.
Available online at Mr Porter and at global flagship Ralph Lauren stores as well, the collection aims to include a wide range of customers.
“His collections resonate with a diverse group of people, from kids who wear it as streetwear through to company execs in chalk striped suits — and everyone in between,” says Toby Bateman, Mr Porter’s managing director. “This unique collection reflects the DNA of each of the Ralph Lauren brands.”
For Polo, that means in addition to classic oxfords and durable polo shirts, offerings include a pair of sprightly regimental-stripe sweatpants ($200) and a nylon bomber jacket with appliqued patches ($400). In the C-suite-leaning Purple Label, standouts include a Savile Row-inspired silky jacquard dinner jacket in an oversized blue paisley ($5,995) and perhaps the ultimate aviator jacket, in luxe black shearling ($4,995). The 16-piece RRL grouping features a cavalry-style greatcoat in black suede with brass buttons ($3,200) and a patchwork cotton-and-wool flannel shirt ($595).
Notable accessories include a version of the Purple Label hiking boot in navy-blue leather ($1,500), a RRL burnished Silver cuff bracelet ($495), and, of course, ties, like the bulldog-emblazoned Polo version ($100).
“The world is open to us, and each day is an occasion to reinvent ourselves,” is the way Lauren, the man himself, put it in the press materials. Spoken like one who truly knows of what he speaks after a half-century of experience.
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