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Has RRL jumped the shark?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by BABuckeye, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. BABuckeye

    BABuckeye Senior member

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    ?
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  2. NAMOR

    NAMOR Senior member

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  3. stu00a

    stu00a Senior member

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  4. Grenadier

    Grenadier Senior member

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  5. Samovar McGee

    Samovar McGee Senior member

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  6. PabloDiablo

    PabloDiablo Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  7. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    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.
     
  8. james_timothy

    james_timothy Senior member

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  9. Saturdays

    Saturdays Senior member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  10. Saturdays

    Saturdays Senior member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  11. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Senior member

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    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.
     
  12. JakeLA

    JakeLA Senior member

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    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.
     
  13. Saturdays

    Saturdays Senior member

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    Cowboy? Noone said RRL was for dressing like a cowboy.. its for dressing like a Rail Road Worker:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. stu00a

    stu00a Senior member

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    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.
     
  15. erk

    erk Senior member

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    oh god. Using Chrome on a Mac on that RRL site is a nightmare.
     
  16. davesmith

    davesmith Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    If i have heard of it, it is too famous already.
     
  17. Amelorn

    Amelorn Senior member

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    Comparing Rugby with Chaps? That's a bit harsh.

    Having digressed with that, I am with davesmith. It's not particularly exclusive. "Exclusive" is ONE location (See Bergdorf Goodman). This is a "luxury mall" brand (eg Americana Manhasset). This is distinct from a luxury "mall brand."
     
  18. warrenjl1

    warrenjl1 Senior member

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    Yes. I think comparing Rugby to Chaps is a bit over the top as well. That's like refusing to shop at J. Crew since J. Crew is for poor people. Rugby fits a niche and has always done some absolutely stunning sport coats that may or may not fit your tastes. Either way, they are definitely investment worthy pieces.

    Anyway... I think making the RRL stuff available online isn't going to be a huge deal really. Most people still aren't going to pay (or are able to pay) full price for it. I know I won't. And yes. I can still go to the Polo outlet and pick up a custom fit dress shirt for $40, but I still REALLY want some of the Black and Purple label stuff. Just out of my reach at this point. Same thing with RRL. I can buy a cheap chambray from the Polo outlet, but I still REALLY want the RRL version. Ralph has a bunch of niches and I think he keeps them just separate enough to make them all very viable for their intended audience.

    For the record, I own a pair of RRL Slim Bootcuts I got on SF for $80. I'd consider paying full price for a pair of selvedge officer chinos, but that's about it.
     
  19. erk

    erk Senior member

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    oh christ... and this video

    http://www.ralphlauren.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=11757742&ab=global_men_denimsupply

    Its like an addiction to irony? Doubly ironic? WhyTF are the "authentic" characters - the bohemian, artist, free-spirit analogs - waiting for the snap of the clapper board?

    Its like the design agency is yelling out, this brand is a total f'ing crock of shit. We are going to insult your intelligence and laugh that you don't even notice. We'll make workwear, blue-collar clothes and sell them at exorbitantly inflated prices that actual blue-collar workers can't afford. You'll draw inspiration from their toil! Win!

    F me. I hate advertising.
     
  20. Manfred Freitag

    Manfred Freitag Well-Known Member

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    My grandfather was killed by some hobos in a railyard fight back in the 40s. Spending thousands of dollars on work coats and denim and bowery boots is my way of paying homage to him.

    That and choking hobos to get an erection.
     

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