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Rugby Ralph Lauren Replacement - Page 3

post #31 of 40
I find there is a bizarre aversion to the normal Polo Ralph Lauren line on Styleforum. They have many of the same basics, and if you don't like the horse logo, they stock as lot of stuff that has no logo. Look for slim fit (not custom fit) stuff. They are more expensive, but if you find the stuff on sale (decent sales right now), the price drops pretty quickly.

If you don't want to go the PRL route, start following the Epaulet thread. Their stuff is really slim and high quality.

Another good alternative is J Press York Street. Similar to Rugby, this brand will likely fail over the next couple of years, but until then, their suits, OCBDs, sweaters, polos, etc are slim and top notch.
post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by akatsuki View Post

Rugby was pretty awesome, but they alternated between stylish basics, college wear and eurotrash and couldn't decide what they wanted to be. My understanding is that they were never going to achieve the volume they wanted for the brand so they cut it.

It was a shame as it was the last truly exciting thing PRL had done before sliding into irrelevancy after Ralph moves on.

 

I have to admit, I do have an aversion to Polo myself. There's just something about that horse. Every stereotype that springs to mind, from drunken frat boys to Jersey Shore bro types with the collar up, when I think of Polo, is a strong deterrent. 

 

I agree with you about the weird diffuse nature of the Rugby line, as well as the comment about it being the last truly exciting thing the company might do before Ralph leaves.

 

Absurd creations aside though, some of the items from the collections were just unbelievably good, and really, nobody else had the balls to make stuff with some of the traditional embellishments Rugby had. With all that diversity though, it's almost like the design team was given carte blanche to go completely nuts, with some astonishing results. Some of the items that they produced seem to have moved into the women's and even kid's lines after Rugby ended. 

 

I just wish it could have gone for at least one more season, so we could have seen the detachable collars and spats start to appear. Don't say it would never have happened. Remember the black cape? :D

 

To me, the most clueless thing that was ever said during the announcement of Rugby closing was that Rugby customers could start buying Denim and Supply and Club Monaco. What? It's like the person who made that statement had never even seen any of the clothing lines before. Maybe they'd only seen prices on a spreadsheet. I know it's a publicly held company and figures are important, but come on, that screamed lack of product knowledge, which seemed very unlike the whole ethos of the company.

 

Anyone know what Lee Norwood is doing now for them?

post #33 of 40
Rugby's sales numbers weren't meaningful to the bottom line. Right now, Denim and Supply's numbers don't appear to be either, but that's another story (at least they are wholesaling that as well) Club Monaco actually appears to be growing nicely. RRL is growing in popularity, but again, is small (at least margins are high). Polo, various women's lines (especially accessories) are driving the growth (Black and Purple Label are nice for select markets and international). They are building a new "Polo only" flagship on Fifth Avenue, which I think is the right move (my favorite all time RL store was a similar "Polo flagship" they used to have across the street from the mansion before they tore it down to build the women's flagship). Reconsider Polo.

FWIW, a large percentage of my casual wear is from Polo. Aside from like 4 spring/summer polo shirts I have in rotation, basically none of the clothing has a visible pony logo.
post #34 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcibiades View Post

Rugby's sales numbers weren't meaningful to the bottom line. Right now, Denim and Supply's numbers don't appear to be either, but that's another story (at least they are wholesaling that as well) Club Monaco actually appears to be growing nicely. RRL is growing in popularity, but again, is small (at least margins are high). Polo, various women's lines (especially accessories) are driving the growth (Black and Purple Label are nice for select markets and international). They are building a new "Polo only" flagship on Fifth Avenue, which I think is the right move (my favorite all time RL store was a similar "Polo flagship" they used to have across the street from the mansion before they tore it down to build the women's flagship). Reconsider Polo.

FWIW, a large percentage of my casual wear is from Polo. Aside from like 4 spring/summer polo shirts I have in rotation, basically none of the clothing has a visible pony logo.

RRL doesn't make any money for RL at all. So I am not sure where you are getting your info from.
post #35 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by akatsuki View Post

RRL doesn't make any money for RL at all. So I am not sure where you are getting your info from.

That certainly was the case. However they have expanded the brand pretty rapidly the past two years or so in terms of retail availability and product offering. A lot of growth internationally (with is where most of RL's growth is anyway). Given the pricing is at or higher than Black Label, margins should be high. I wouldn't be surprised to hear the brand was profitable now (I just searched through the past four earnings transcripts, didn't see any specific mentions of profitability for RRL but did see some mentions about the brands growth).

FWIW, during the last earnings call, RL claimed that Denim and Supply was driving "millennial" traffic at its department store customer site and was doing well. At 30, I'm too old to know (even if I am technically a millennial). The NYC store seems to be doing OK (Rugby did better from what I can tell).
post #36 of 40

Isn't RRL pretty much Ralph Lauren's "hobby" line that allows him to make the things that are really special to him? If the suiting was available online, that would have probably been the closest out of any of the lines for people wanting to continue with the Rugby aesthetic, who also didn't live in the US, or near one of the stores at least. 

 

That reminds me. Since I appear to be locked into a juvenile debate about whether Ralph's choice of Rugby/Denim and Supply model is "hot or not" on another thread, the person I was going to ask might not be partial to answering, so I might as well ask here. I know this has probably been asked before, but what is the fit of RRL like on comparable items, like dress shirts, jackets etc, as compared to Rugby? 

 

I know it's not going to be the same, since I appear to almost have the same measurements as whoever the fit model for Rugby size small was, but is it out of the question to get this stuff off the rack and expect there to be form fitting items of clothing?

 

Regarding Denim and Supply: I was going to say that surely this isn't a good use for these store locations, but if they are doing well, it might make some kind of sense. I'm way out of that demographic, and no longer follow the same people on Tumblr that I used to, but judging by what I used to see, their whole revitalisation of 90s grunge might be what's feeding the Denim and Supply success. Maybe Denim and Supply is an "entry drug" to the grungier items from RRL, the same way that Rugby was for me to their other lines.

 

@Alcibiades: I actually put the only shirt I have with a horse on it into storage recently. Part of the reason was the horse, the other part was it's a checked design that is the most overexposed pattern worn here by the chinless masses on their "going out shirts". I can't do it. It's like that religious symbol misappropriated by Hugo Boss's most notorious clients. Ruined forever. I still have a couple of ponyless shirts and some ties and things, but really, Rugby had a special fit that not even the Polo custom fit can come close to. But I bet that new store's going to be nice to visit ...

post #37 of 40
RRL had been Ralph's hobby line. But they sell the brand online now, let certain retailers sell it (Steven Alan, Unionmade Goods), have expanded the distribution internationally, etc. These are all very recent changes.

I don't know how RRL suiting fits, but the suits look 1910s/Boardwalk Empire to me, which is nothing how Rugby suits looked to me
post #38 of 40

It depends which suits you are looking at. As was mentioned before, the types of clothing from Rugby varied widely. There was everything from the tweedy anglophile kinds of jackets, some more modern European style suits, Southern style seersuckers for summer, and admittedly, not so common, the ones that made me think of RRL. I've got some across the board, but the one in particular that made me think of RRL was a grey striped suit with patch pockets. I wear it when I'm feeling particularly like I want to come across like Daniel Plainview :D.

 

I get the Boardwalk Empire reference, but as well as that, the RRL line very strongly is The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford - and that's also consistent with Ralph Lauren's own vision for the line overall, with its American frontier styling aspect. The only thing I don't like about it is the very wide lapels, but that's what he loves and he can do what he likes ...

post #39 of 40

Just my 2 cents... While Rugby is incredible on its own, its place in RL ecosystem is precarious. Want preppy clothing? There's Polo. Urban? D&S. Tailored clothing? Polo, Purple, and Black Label can take care of that. It's not really a good business decision to start a brand that sells exactly what your other brands are already selling, except at lower price and higher cost (I suppose the marketing and retailing of Rugby was a considerable endeavor, compared to, say, D&S, and the quality of Rugby can mostly stand up to Polo)

 

It was a huge blessing for customers, but not for the company.

post #40 of 40

Yes, all of the above, especially the blessing for customers part. 

 

And to scalpers who are sufficiently lacking in moral fibre to charge $550 to morons who will pay that for a flannel shirt.

 

I just wish I'd bought RL shares at the time I started wearing Rugby ... 

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