Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by BABuckeye, Sep 5, 2011.
I guess it depends on whatever design team is working on the line from season to season. I hardly doubt Ralph is that heavily involved except for maybe giving some high level direction to the underlings. Like much of RL it goes in and out of style, but remains a constant presence.
That's not how he started. He started making "stylish, opulent ties" that were wide, unlike the skinny conventions of the day.... followed inthe early 70's with the ubiquitous polo that so many here now deride. His polo logo actually first showed on the cuff of women's suits in men's styles.
Ralph embraced the whole western Americana thing later on.
It was never super exclusive.. I often seen it in other RL boutiques during certain seasons. I also noticed that every line in RL somewhere, somehow at one point will have shared something somewhere. (is that vague enough for you?)
If not.. certain flannel shirts have shared patterns or fabrics from RRL to PRL to Rugby and sometimes ever Chaps..
More commonly you will patterns and fabrics shared between PRL, Rugby and Chaps.. One example is orange gingham shirts, I have a Rugby one ($35), my friend has the Polo one 9with Pony on it - $30). Another example: Green, yellow, Blue - Plaid flannel shirt from Rugby ($40) and exactly the same pattern but at Polo and then again with Polo Kid's section as well.
It is not common to see the patterns/styles/fabrics to move from RRL to Polo/Rugby, and less common from RLPL or RLBL to move down to PRL or Rugby, or even cross into RRL.
Is the recent website gonna make it less exclusive? Yes and No.. price points and unshared desires in style will keep its exclusivity somewhat
Will the quality be affected? No.
Will it be distinct in its style like it has been? Ofcourse.
Yes.. he first clothing line, from what I understand apart fromt he ties, was actually Women's.. not Men's. He began by working with Brook Brothers and eventually did his own thing, financially backed by Norman HIlton.
There seems to be an assumption that opening a brand to a wider audience will eventually lead to a degradation of quality. Or are you saying that offering RRL on the RL website somehow makes it of the same quality and status level of the diffusion lines?
Either way this seems to be very unsound logic, with the best counterpoint being that you can currently buy Purple Label and Black Label on the site. Your logic, if I understand it correctly, states these brands would have seen a downshift in quality when added to the site and/or introduced to a larger audience. I think everyone here knows this is not the case.
I will admit that PRL has some dubious undertakings, and that RL as a company has had its missteps (See: Black Label Denim). However, when dealing with brands that have a quality reputation attached to them (RLPL and RLBL for example), the company historically strives to retain its legacy of quality.
Now I will say that this new sales frontier might make the brand less exclusive. However, I think it is quite misguided to buy products based on their exclusivity. Just because a product is exclusive doesn't mean it's good. I think you are really buying into the designer mindset that expensive=exclusive=good or exclusive=expensive=good. Neither of these mantras are generally accurate or informed.
Since there is no evidence that a shift to a wider sales network, or inclusion in e-commerce, impacts quality of goods negatively with other RL family lines, especially those of higher quality (in fact a greater amount of exposure actually increased the quality of Black Label garments some years ago), I don't think you can make the prediction this will cause a decrease in quality.
Is it really all that exclusive? There are 26 RRL stores, plus it's sold at Barneys and who knows where else. It's a moot point for me because I don't want to dress like a cowboy, and if for some reason I want a flannel shirt I'll find one at a vintage store for $5.
Cowboy? Noone said RRL was for dressing like a cowboy.. its for dressing like a Rail Road Worker:
I think RRL is somewhat exclusive compared to other brands. RRL doesn't advertise on public and it's not like cowboy. It's about American vintage, workwear, etc.
oh god. Using Chrome on a Mac on that RRL site is a nightmare.
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