Originally Posted by GusW
From everything that I've read, Polo makes its profits from very regular stuff - polo shirts, T shirts, underwear, and by selling these into very ordinary large department stores and outlet malls. The Purple Label and RRL brands as well as showcases like the Mansion on Madison Avenue in NYC, loose money and are there to add appeal and enhance the perception of the RL lifestyle. I think it is remarkable how PRL has been able to continue its mainstream popularity. What an amazing accomplishment. Almost all of the major fashion brands go in and out of mainstream appeal. But RL keeps growing.
It is interesting to see the evolution of RRL from more old west to depression era WPA and WWII. Pretty soon it will run out of decades to emulate.
As someone who has had a long-term business built on responding to lifestyle trends, I'm baffled by what the next "act" will be for the RRL look. Perhaps it will circle back to Southwest/Colorado ranch? But the Urban Lumberjack and Tailored 30's style doesn't seem to have much more mileage. Most of all, I don't see much younger guys joining that look.
Early 70's California surfer style could be an excellent next step. But all of this is just me speculating. I certainly have no magic inside insight into the dealings of Ralph & Co.
I wonder what he could possibly use next as well. While some of the suggestions seem viable, they would have to fit with the RRL ethos of workwear, "the enduring spirit of the American worker" or something like that. Any leisure activities might not fit that.
I did think he'd jumped the shark a bit with the Scott Base adventure series. It's like he's become the J. Peterman of RRL.
If he is doing other decades of workwear, there could be more emphasis on the 1950s racing culture, something that's been hinted at with some of the mechanics' jackets etc. To bring this thread back full circle, if Black Label goes away, the racing aesthetic would need somewhere to go, maybe. I'm thinking mechanics jackets, overalls, denim, and what James Dean and his co racers might have worn to a chickie run. But again, that's all speculation.
I like what a writer commented in an article I read recently about the epidemic of the 1900s wax moustache/goldminer look. She wondered how far back this trend would go, and if she'd go on a Tinder date to find the guy dressed in a full 18th century costume, a la Lestat from Interview with the Vampire. As well as the fact that she was obviously being humorous, if anything, I'd say that RRL would move forward in history, not backwards ... IF it survives!