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What are the greatest menswear brands of all time?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by YoungAmerican, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    Well I was just calling it as I saw it there. It does seem as if there is something he has against RL especially with the statement, "I would never buy or wear something RL". I know he has that whole "hobo-ninja" thing going on and that's cool, but nothing from RL? Not even a pair of white jeans? C'mon, there's some serious bias up in there.
     
  2. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    i was not intending to characterize him in that way in general. as i understand it, he does have a very broad understanding of things. i was commenting merely on his stance in this particular instance. the fact that i understood him to have an eclectic taste, was part of why i was confused by his very staunch stance against their aesthetic in entirety, with almost no explanation, at least that i saw.
     
  3. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    I also wear some Balenciaga, YSL, Lanvin, Véronique Branquinho, Stephan Schneider, Malo, Borrelli, APC, Helmut Lang, Dior Homme, Comme des Garçons, Junya, Uniqlo, Paul Stuart, Nigel Cabourn, Rick Owens, SNS Herning, Corthay, Vass, Massaro, Thom Browne, Cloak, Yohji, April77, Prada, Jil Sander. Just to name a few.
     
  4. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    I seriously dislike the brand and everything it stands for: I find the universe it has created repulsive, the designs derivative, watered down and opportunistic (tail-riding), the man himself to look like an idiot and have awful taste and the audience to be, well, bros and post-bros. What you associate with a brand or an item or a look is as important if not more than the item itself: no one is stupid enough to buy bespoke for the cut or quality, the intangibles are really what matter. I am not necessarily talking about marketing here although it tries to influence this, but the fantasy world we create around objects, looks, references etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  5. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    I'll try to wear it, not sure I can still fit it though as it is slimmer than dior homme was in the same size. You can't really see what the pattern is in pictures though, you hafta be up close, I imagine it as some sort of homo-signifier in Italy and Triad coded wear in HK, all rolled into one tasteful package.
     
  6. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    well, despite the fact i do not agree with you, i do appreciate you giving some more explanation. i understand where you are coming from, and i can respect that.

    :)
     
  7. teddieriley

    teddieriley Senior member

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    Wait, you smell that?
    

    Nice.
     
  8. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I disagree with you about his being derivative, btw, though certainly, some of this lines, especially the luxury lines, like Purple Label and Black Label, and the Rugby line. were certainly Johnny come latelies. He actually was well ahead of a lot of trends, and can be credited with starting at least one.

    He made colorful and wide ties during a period when ties were slim and somber, and really, ushed in that trend starting in the early 70s. His RRL line was on the Americana kick in the late 1990s, when no one else was doing it. The motorcycle in the boutique, the vintage, western thing, that all seems pretty ubiquitous now, but no designer or retailer was doing that when the first RRL stores opened, then closed, before the world caught on (and really Europe was behind both Japan and North America on this one), and it became a success.

    I perversely like brands that other people hate, though, whether it's Fuuma's disdain for "mediocrity", or MCs disdain for "branding", or the Styleforum's (and really, all of fashion's) disdain for the truly tacky. I see something magificently douchey about Christian Audigier's bizarre American Dream, and I think that Louis Vuitton's monogram was a stroke of genius, and I enjoy Ralph Lauren's wonderfully new money version of old money taste.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    i would agree with that. while i personally would not wear some of the items you mentioned, i do see them all having a place, and i see how they work for, and even look good on, others. just like i cant imagine myself wearing the gladiator print prada shirt, that fuuma described, but i recognize that on him, he may be killing it.
     
  10. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    I get that. I can respect that. Still doesn't disprove that RL is the all-time menswear brand of, well, ever. I am not a Jew or Aryan or a WASP et.al. and do not wish to be. Yet there is an area within the RL universe that still speaks to me and helps me express my individuality. With quality bang-for-buck garments & accessories. He offers many items that only a few people would wear with confidence, and I don't mean the obscene logo'd stuff. For instance, for every thumbs-up I get on here for my looks, I get 30 down. There is no denying the man has done something incredible.

    Check this out: I wear almost exclusively RL clothing. I have yet to see myself walking down the street or anywhere for that matter. There are just so many items to choose from that makes this possible.
     
  11. rach2jlc

    rach2jlc Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Even though I may disagree with some particulars, I think Fuuma's added a lot to the discussion, because most of us didn't really even question RL on the list. Even those who don't wear much of his stuff (like me), still saw his place immediately. As such, whether you agree with Fuuma's style, nevertheless his point is valid and it's good to get us thinking. We all just assume RL is the greatest around here, without asking or wondering why.

    Fuuma, I'll see your Prada with the Follow Me Embroidery Shirt. I also had the linen gauze 04 (I think) Prada handsewn shirt with a big hawk or something on the back. It's in a closet somewhere, though the Follow Me was given to a japanese friend on whom it looked much better.
     
  12. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    That is because it's a no brainer. Some have tried to attack the name change, the fact that he borrowed from other brands, etc. but at the end of the day, he is the man. There is no competition in the context of greatest menswear brand of all time and I think that is the point being lost here. Not the greatest contribution to menswear, or the most handwork or the best fabrics. The greatest taking everything into consideration. If anyone can disprove that and show me another greater brand of all time I will immediately do what I mentioned in another thread and walk away from all of my RL stuff. Serious.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  13. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    ill +1 that. and despite my dislike for some of what he said, i will admit, sometimes a little shock value is needed to spark conversation, especially if it is contrarian. again, i still dont agree with much of what he said, but he succeeded in bringing to the table another point of view, that caused people to question the status-quo.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  14. rach2jlc

    rach2jlc Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Nobody is doing that, and it's a list of FIFTY brands. So, there's room.

    RL has had MORE than his share of chat/hype on this thread, and nearly every facet of his 'greatness' has been discussed (more than once). It's refreshing and useful, therefore, to get a counter opinion.

    I swear you MC girlz act like RL is your grandmother, chosen religious deity, or that 90% of your networth in tied up in RL Polo shares. :lol: j/k
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  15. Reginald Bartholomew

    Reginald Bartholomew Senior member

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    Not unless I missed the long discussion of black America's long love affair with Polo, and how the up-market hip-hop fashion thing being driven by Kanye and Jay-Z has it's roots in gangs breaking into NY Polo stores to boost hundreds of bathrobes and go ice skating in them. YSL, BB, MMM; none of them have anything like the LoLifes.
     
  16. Alcibiades

    Alcibiades Senior member

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    This is spot on... Polo / Ralph Lauren has to be #1 by a pretty clear margin
     
  17. Klobber

    Klobber Senior member

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    In the confusing subterranean region of menswear classification, I can understand how some people can despise Ralph Lauren as a brand. A common and reasonable complaint / dislike will no doubt revolve around aesthetic creativity and the corresponding brand image burned onto the retina and stored in the inner sanctum. They are not a brand for the non conformist or the individualist.

    A clothing line in many a sense tells a story and the essence of a good collection is to captivate, entertain, and whisk oneself into that parallel world of fantasy. There is more to clothing than mere "look", "whimsy", "attitude" or "presenting oneself". One only has to look at Prada / Lanvin / Dior / YSL and see how their story unfolds season after season. Like a good movie, it intertwines numerous sub plots intricately to form a masterpiece. While Ralph Lauren are by no means a one trick pony, it is clear that season after season the story repeats over and over. Ralph Lauren do the basics well, but appear to be completely captured / bound by their own image engine.

    To me they are nothing but a minor update on Brooks Brothers with a few more niche areas covered. That is not to say Brooks Brothers themselves are horribly one dimensional - an argument could be placed where Black Fleece holds a brighter torch of sartorial creativity than anything pumping out the Black Label and Purple Label lines.

    From another viewpoint, if ones motive is to dress well in a casual American / Pseudo British style, I can think of few brands that nail this area quite like Ralph Lauren. However, for those that hang out in different circles, Ralph Lauren clothing may as well be skeet blanket material.

    From my perspective: I dress conservatively 5 days a week for 10 hours a day. Given that this is a societal limitation imposed and not my pure free will, I do find that Ralph Lauren belongs in the upper echelons of menswear brands. Basically they are the best out there regarding copper bottomed semi classic menswear. Given a free reign however, I would gladly dump Ralph Lauren for something where artistic integrity rules over streamlined conformity

    That said, we have to define menswear properly - is it mere clothing and economy of scale or does artistic merit have its virtuous place? If the former, Ralph Lauren are the greatest brand ever. If the latter, Ralph Lauren are a standardized and well drilled machine that can do only one function (albeit doing it well). Whatever the case, Ralph will continue to steamroller through the industry for the foreseeable future. They are a brand that splits opinion. From one perspective, genius. From another perspective, limited.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  18. Saturdays

    Saturdays Senior member

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    Moving on to other brands: Norman Hilton and J Press


    They were, and in some cases still are. the connoisseur of menswear for the Ivy and preppy near the NY/NJ area. They did not so much invent anything new, but rather were "Doing one thing well"

    J Press has been a substantial success in Japan, to the point that a Japanese company now owns it.

    Nick Hilton has been reviving his father's company, albeit a little slowly and not so obviously, www.normanhilton.com seems to be down now, but www.nickhilton.com is back up. You can call them up, or visit his shop, and get a suit/sport coat made for you. I suspect the website issues will be fixed eventually.
     
  19. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    klobber, well said. nice summation.
     
  20. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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