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Rugby Ralph Lauren: Rest In Peace

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by bourbonbasted, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Well-Known Member

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    RL announced this morning that it will discontinue the Rugby brand line after falling Q2 net income.


    SOURCE

    Kinda sad to hear...
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  2. akatsuki

    akatsuki Well-Known Member

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    Not really a surprise to me, but still sad. I think Denim & Supply was pretty much the nail in the coffin for it. That and the overzealous branding all over the place...
     
  3. HansderHund

    HansderHund Well-Known Member

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    One of only a few admitted failures for the company I think. I would guess that the rugby line couldn't really define itself. Price points were at or near PRL for the most part. The styling could be seen in the more recognizable PRL and the more high-end/desired RRL.

    Rugby focused on a younger audience, trying to capture their attention in university. I would guess that they found that the Rugby line was not creating new customers/sales but cannibalizing sales from PRL, Denim & Supply and RRL.
     
  4. MZhammer

    MZhammer Well-Known Member

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    Aww bummer... will be on the lookout for mad closeouts
     
  5. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Well-Known Member

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    I could never spend more then 5 minutes in a ruby store. I became claustrophobic. the clothes were so overdone that it made me nervous
     
  6. allaboutshoes

    allaboutshoes Well-Known Member

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    Currently 40% off on their website
     
  7. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Well-Known Member

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    PRL's identity is WASPy-icon America. RLPL's identity is fine Italian tailoring. And RRL's identity is Old West Heritage. Rugby's identity tried to bridge the gap between all three, but instead branded itself as the try-hard fraternity kid college roommate of yours who had more money than sense and never quite got it.

    Interestingly, I always felt there was a sense of irony to Rugby. Every time I entered a store I got the feeling that the sales associates were poking fun at their oft over-styled PRL older brother. There was never anything genuine about the brand and everything seemed forced. At least that was my opinion.

    Still, they had a few nice things...
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  8. bellyhungry

    bellyhungry Well-Known Member

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    I think the skull and cross bone logo on their polo is pretty cool.
     
  9. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Well-Known Member

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    like a race car driver.
    they could never leave any empty spaces on a garment.
    Of course middle aged men were not the target audience
     
  10. ethanm

    ethanm Well-Known Member

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    Since when is J.C. Penny a mid-price department store?
     
  11. mack11211

    mack11211 Well-Known Member

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    If preppy was ivy league with the irony squared, then preppy revival like Rugby was irony cubed.

    I liked irony squared more but I, too, am old.

    Something about the Rugby closure points to a strength of PRL that over time is becoming a weakness.

    The original PRL in the late 60s/early 70s was nostalgic for a 40s Hollywood Englishness. And the core of the brand style is tailored clothing worn more or less the traditional way, even if most of the sales probably come from button-ups and khakis.

    Starting in the 80s, PRL realized that the youth market was getting away from them. They began making half-hearted denim-oriiented lines to catch them. These didn't pan out and some of the frustrated PRL executives left and built up Tommy Hilfiger.

    So Rugby is just the latest of many PRL youth offshoots to wither.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  12. gladhands

    gladhands Well-Known Member

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    Fast fashion owns the youth market. Kids are more than happy to fill their wardrobes with clothes from H&M and Zara. Rugby was never cool enough to get them to spend the extra $$$.
     
  13. md2010

    md2010 Well-Known Member

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    I will miss rugby.
     
  14. chogall

    chogall Well-Known Member

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    gg rugby. no more pretty preppy school girl pictures to drool over.
     
  15. diglett

    diglett Well-Known Member

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    I'm in college, and have never been into anything sold by Rugby. It all seemed showy and tacky compared to PRL and RRL.
     
  16. add911_11

    add911_11 Well-Known Member

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    I actually like their Rugby line, I would have thought their Denim line is rubbish and need to go.
     
  17. MikeDT

    MikeDT Well-Known Member

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    Why was Rugby always on a separate domain to the rest of the online RL operation? Site was horrible to use and very slow to load. Surprised they managed to sell anything.
     
  18. md2010

    md2010 Well-Known Member

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    Rugby was created for skinny gents. TBH I liked their website. It is separate and small collections and easy to browse through.
     
  19. Saturdays

    Saturdays Well-Known Member

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    The letter from the earning's report from 04/05 notes that RL Rugby was slated as to be the next 'Polo Ralph Lauren'. It was supposed to be a college focused brand, that wasn't PRL related (even though the models wore PRL and RL shoes/boots, and fabrics were shared between the brands.) I've never had a problem with the site, and i enjoyed the fact that it was experimental and the designs were very fun. if anything it was a great bridge in terms of growing up and clothing. They really had high hopes, but it was a very niche market, i always doubted they could bring it to PRL levels of popularity. Honestly, I never wished it to get that popular, and glad it hasn't.

    Rugby simply closed, as stated in their report, because they want to focus on 'Denim and Supply' and 'Club Monaco'. My thoughts are that it wasn't really clicking in some areas. Can you blame them, the preppy factor and look can really turn some people off. Kids in college can't really afford clothing from Rugby and most don't care to dress proper or preppy. I think at Michigan State University I was the only male to wear a button down shirt, everyone else was in sweats... Most kids in college buy their first suit for an interview and not too much thought goes into quality and etc... Rugby had limited growth potential in a few select areas, whereas Polo is so well recognized that people in Wisconsin will buy it, but i doubt anyone there has ever heard of Rugby RL, and upon seeing something from Rugby - they would rather go to PRL since it's not their style.

    What I am hoping happens is that the designer (Lee Norwood I believe) and his team move to PRL, and get a chance to transition some of Rugby into PRL.

    For the rest of us that were Rugby RL fans, our best bets are Brooks Brothers Flatiron and Gant/Gant Rugger. Although BB Flatiron is tough to come by if you aren't in NY, and Gant/Gant Rugger can get quite expensive compared to Rugby RL...
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  20. md2010

    md2010 Well-Known Member

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    Nothing can replace rugby in the market. Rugby was the king of prep ... skinny peoples best friend.
    I am still angry they are closing rugby. I wouldn't care even if they close RLPL.
     

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