LIFSHITZ IS REAL

“Sometimes we would go to clubs wearing like 5 different polo shirts each. We would wear one on top of another and switch shirts.”

May 2008 T.M.I. bloggery. As with the Dexys post, I couldn’t leave the topic alone and ended up blogging about it again.

Sitting in the stuffy, style-free realm (bar a few chic dissenters) of a Berlin departure lounge, in terms of attire, nothing impresses. Half mast slacks without the Neil Barrett deliberacy and leather waistcoats that even Cowboy (RIP) from the Furious Five would deem a cattle-skinned sleeveless step too far, but a glimpse of the Polo player on pique is the antidote.

Uniting the Mr West cloners, the braying banker, the Oi Polloi crowd, BK dwellers, yummy mummies on the X5 school run and the pub-going everyman – maybe even the kind that rolls as a multi-racial trio in a cider ad, fuck your two shades of raw cotton denim and choice of two tee designs in three colours. The designer formerly known as Ralph Lifshitz is the don you wish you were – all clothing imprints crumble by comparison. Every colour under the sun. A logo to kill for. Plus grand Ivy League looking retail insertions in every key city.

An unofficial street-level steamed marketing campaign that might have pinched those store profits in the early days, made it a staple brand that set off Phat Farm and that cheap looking imprint that featured a bitten logo and got shine on Channel 4’s Passengers show back in ’94, as well as taking the BX-born designer’s product back to the essence, away from Spader-esque bouffanted country club carded cinematic love rivals.

In Lousiana, ‘Polo Down’ is a strong look too. It even got its own dance late last year.

Bizarrely, while Lauren seemed to sidestep the Hilfiger urban myths and the brand behind a wheat workboot’s questionable approach to a dedicated inner-city audience, by the time Tommy, with Andy’s assistance replied enthusastically to Puba’s shouts, and Timberland unleashed varsity fonted rolldown horrors for a rugged fashion crowd, they seemed to lose their edge. Ralph seemed to keep his distance without a substantial backlash, and play his cards right without playing the brand.

Speaking of Grand Puba Maxwell – this is how you wear the Polo bear:

But not only is Polo, whether its the crisp button down, patch plaid, crew neck tees that seem to get regular wear from the minds behind Supreme and UNDFTD, polos in custom or standard fits, crew necksweats and tailored shorts as solid as ever, looking above the wielded mallet to the rest of the Lauren empire via their website reveals a bizarre netherworld where elaborate blazers are bought as graduation gifts, the owner shifts his unwanted tat, and slippers with dojo player status are revealed.

Wander round the stores and get a few snooty glances or chuckle at the factory shops, where designs that could only be some kind of apparel-based dare get a 50 percent tomahawk chop, but you still know the brand is still the ideal antidote to your unwearable impulse buys. And until someone does anything better, the rich get richer.