The Official RRL Thread

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by whodini, May 21, 2009.

  1. kmdsimpson

    kmdsimpson Senior member

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    Complete speculation, but it seems to me the availability off RRL has expanded greatly in recent years. I think the line has grown, and now offers a much bigger range of products. This may mean the line is losing less money, and is consequently more viable. I would suspect that money might have been lost on the more specialized seasonal collections, with the icon staples helping to offset these costs. Someone more knowledgeable about the history of the line might be able to weigh in on my conjecture.
    That's actually pretty spot on. The only thing I don't know is whether or not they have been/are profitable, maybe someone like Blake can chime in on that.
    I hope that is the situation, as well. It may be that closing most of the RRL-only stores and expanding the space in mainline RL stores is saving them some money - and maybe raising their profile, too. When I was trying to research those made-in-Japan jeans, I found some references to Rakuten. There are a ton of sellers with RRL merchandise there, so maybe they are also gaining traction there, as well. http://search.rakuten.co.jp/search/mall/rrl/-/ (BTW - if you think prices here are high....) The part that would worry me is the large number of limited edition/small numbers items that they sell. Those have to be expensive to design and make, and despite the price premiums they get, I would imagine they'd be the first items to go in a crunch. The wider availability of the Icon items, though, is an encouraging and hopefully offsetting factor.
     


  2. harveyrabbit

    harveyrabbit Senior member

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    I would love to see a more thorough history of the line and the various collections through the years. It would be a great project to then try to crowd-source images to complete a sort of digital lookbook. I would be less interested in the icon pieces than the more specialized work. If the line ever did meet an unfortunate demise it would be a very cool archive.
     


  3. el duderino

    el duderino Senior member

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    When I was trying to research those made-in-Japan jeans, I found some references to Rakuten. There are a ton of sellers with RRL merchandise there, so maybe they are also gaining traction there, as well. http://search.rakuten.co.jp/search/mall/rrl/-/ (BTW - if you think prices here are high....)

    The part that would worry me is the large number of limited edition/small numbers items that they sell. Those have to be expensive to design and make, and despite the price premiums they get, I would imagine they'd be the first items to go in a crunch. The wider availability of the Icon items, though, is an encouraging and hopefully offsetting factor.


    Actually, the recent ltd ed pieces have almost always been selling out. If anything is left, it's the typically XL and up, which is always leftover regardless if it's ltd ed or not.

    As for RRL being popular in Japan, if you ever read Free & Easy, it is heavily featured in there. The japanese are probably the biggest consumers of RRL, and the only reason you see them sold online a lot in Japan is due to resellers. They can make a killing with outlet or even current season pieces as they just sell it for twice the tagged MSRP which is still cheaper than buying from a RL store in Japan.
     


  4. kmdsimpson

    kmdsimpson Senior member

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    Actually, the recent ltd ed pieces have almost always been selling out. If anything is left, it's the typically XL and up, which is always leftover regardless if it's ltd ed or not.

    As for RRL being popular in Japan, if you ever read Free & Easy, it is heavily featured in there. The japanese are probably the biggest consumers of RRL, and the only reason you see them sold online a lot in Japan is due to resellers. They can make a killing with outlet or even current season pieces as they just sell it for twice the tagged MSRP which is still cheaper than buying from a RL store in Japan.


    Right, they do sell out. What I meant is that they are produced in such limited numbers to begin with. So if you think about the designers' time, then getting samples made, then the higher per-piece cost of doing small batches in runs, it just seems to me that the overhead per piece is much higher. I don't have any industry experience, so I could be overestimating the cost here. But it's not like selling mainline Polo shirts, where they make the same item in huge amounts, so the up-front design cost happens less often, and they can bid out work to different manufactures from time to time.

    I did get the feeling that a lot of the items on Rakuten were resellers (not so easy to navigate for someone who does not speak Japanese). But you're right - the prices are still much higher than here.
     


  5. kmdsimpson

    kmdsimpson Senior member

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    Recent RRL haul:


    Top to bottom;

    Low Straights
    LE Selvedge Officer Chino
    Selvedge Officer Chino
    Charleston Striped Pant (Awesome for spring)

    Wool/Cashmere Cardi
    Linen/Wool/Poly Blend Reversible Sweater (instant favorite)
    Henley Hoody
    Flannel
    Chambray


    Namor, what's your current opinion on the sweater? Still love it after having it a while?
     


  6. NAMOR

    NAMOR Senior member

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    Namor, what's your current opinion on the sweater? Still love it after having it a while?
    yep, still love it. if you buy it, make sure to get one that fits you spot on. I wear mine with my slim rigids and it makes for a clean slim look EDIT - the Charleston Striped Pant is for sale in my sig. A little too slim for me. If anyone sees a pair in tagged 34 or 35, let me know. Thanks!
     


  7. osadolor619

    osadolor619 Senior member

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    yep, still love it. if you buy it, make sure to get one that fits you spot on. I wear mine with my slim rigids and it makes for a clean slim look

    EDIT - the Charleston Striped Pant is for sale in my sig. A little too slim for me. If anyone sees a pair in tagged 34 or 35, let me know. Thanks!


    I'm still mad that tha sweater didn't fit me!!
     


  8. NAMOR

    NAMOR Senior member

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    I'm still mad that tha sweater didn't fit me!!
    this one is all you buddy
     


  9. NAMOR

    NAMOR Senior member

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    this one is all you buddy
    btw, I am fairly certain that this ebay seller is SF member, st00a. I have dealt with him in the past and is reasonable when it comes to pricing.
     


  10. wEstSidE

    wEstSidE Senior member

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    Right, they do sell out. What I meant is that they are produced in such limited numbers to begin with. So if you think about the designers' time, then getting samples made, then the higher per-piece cost of doing small batches in runs, it just seems to me that the overhead per piece is much higher. I don't have any industry experience, so I could be overestimating the cost here. But it's not like selling mainline Polo shirts, where they make the same item in huge amounts, so the up-front design cost happens less often, and they can bid out work to different manufactures from time to time.

    I did get the feeling that a lot of the items on Rakuten were resellers (not so easy to navigate for someone who does not speak Japanese). But you're right - the prices are still much higher than here.


    most sites on rakuten are grey market resellers.
     


  11. Rayson

    Rayson Well-Known Member

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    I would love to see a more thorough history of the line and the various collections through the years. It would be a great project to then try to crowd-source images to complete a sort of digital lookbook. I would be less interested in the icon pieces than the more specialized work. If the line ever did meet an unfortunate demise it would be a very cool archive.

    This is something I'd like to see, and I'd be at least as interested in records of the icon stuff as the limited. No shops with substantial RRL collections to browse through in the UK. I'd always like to see an attempt at a systematic history as well anyway. A complete unofficial archive must be all but impossible because much of the RRL range is limited (it's also, I gather from my back issues of Free & Easy and here and there, about as diverse as you can get within the remit of vintage Americana or whatever you'd like to call it). Plus, it's been around off and on for 18 years. I'd love just to know what currently comprises the icon collection. I've trawled through this thread of late so now at least have the names of recent limited collections, which I've found helpful:

    Spring/summer 2010: Ship Yard, American Graffiti, Taos, Charleston, Key West
    Autumn/winter 2010: Outlaw, Lighthouse, Alaska, Orchard St, Holiday Lodge
    Spring/summer 2011: Grand Canyon, Bonnie And Clyde, Heartland, Wind Ship

    I'm also nosey about RRL's profits (I know some people early in the thread were quite upset at even the idea of such talk here, but many of the posts are much more than strict, certainly more than sycophantic, discussions of the clothes). Limited edition runs have been more popular than ever with businesses over recent years, clothes companies in particular. RRL's less-is-more promotion seems successful too. It's unusual for a company as high-profile as Polo and it leads to the speculations I make here, or something like them ("RRL is the most profitable arm of Polo", "RRL breaks even", "the rest of Polo subsidises RRL", "RRL to close", "RRL to expand"). This helps the cult-like aura the brand tries to cultivate. RRL at least lends kudos to Polo, but I suspect it errs on the side of hugely profitable in its own right. Fucking hell this is a long post. PS hello.
     


  12. osadolor619

    osadolor619 Senior member

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    This is something I'd like to see, and I'd be at least as interested in records of the icon stuff as the limited. No shops with substantial RRL collections to browse through in the UK. I'd always like to see an attempt at a systematic history as well anyway. A complete unofficial archive must be all but impossible because much of the RRL range is limited (it's also, I gather from my back issues of Free & Easy and here and there, about as diverse as you can get within the remit of vintage Americana or whatever you'd like to call it). Plus, it's been around off and on for 18 years. I'd love just to know what currently comprises the icon collection. I've trawled through this thread of late so now at least have the names of recent limited collections, which I've found helpful:

    Spring/summer 2010: Ship Yard, American Graffiti, Taos, Charleston, Key West
    Autumn/winter 2010: Outlaw, Lighthouse, Alaska, Orchard St, Holiday Lodge
    Spring/summer 2011: Grand Canyon, Bonnie And Clyde, Heartland, Wind Ship

    I'm also nosey about RRL's profits (I know some people early in the thread were quite upset at even the idea of such talk here, but many of the posts are much more than strict, certainly more than sycophantic, discussions of the clothes). Limited edition runs have been more popular than ever with businesses over recent years, clothes companies in particular. RRL's less-is-more promotion seems successful too. It's unusual for a company as high-profile as Polo and it leads to the speculations I make here, or something like them ("RRL is the most profitable arm of Polo", "RRL breaks even", "the rest of Polo subsidises RRL", "RRL to close", "RRL to expand"). This helps the cult-like aura the brand tries to cultivate. RRL at least lends kudos to Polo, but I suspect it errs on the side of hugely profitable in its own right. Fucking hell this is a long post. PS hello.


    That... was long.
     


  13. osadolor619

    osadolor619 Senior member

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    I've seen the store costs of RRL at the RL store, not too much profit. Most of the profit is being made from Polo, especially the outlet version of Polo, the super low quality that foreigners that visit the U.S. go nuts for.
     


  14. Rayson

    Rayson Well-Known Member

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    I've seen the store costs of RRL at the RL store, not too much profit. Most of the profit is being made from Polo, especially the outlet version of Polo, the super low quality that foreigners that visit the U.S. go nuts for.

    Cheers for this. My suspicion is wrong in that case. Let's hope then it makes enough profit (or gives the rest of Polo enough kudos) to stay afloat.

    I feel the pain of anybody with too short a life to read my novel-length previous post, so let me outline the first half: it dealt with the idea of a record of RRL stuff. If anybody wants to name limited collections before 2010, details on icons clothes, that sort of thing, please do.
     


  15. harveyrabbit

    harveyrabbit Senior member

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    I'd be willing to help ad hoc some sort of solution at fleshing out the past collections. It probably wouldn't be too much trouble to start some sort of wiki for sourcing out and sharing more information on RRL.

    Just curious, but are there any particular pieces people know about that they don't own but would love to get ahold off? For instance, I have occasionally seen RRL ponchos. I would love one for some impractical spaghetti western reason, but I have no idea what collection ever had ponchos.
     


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