I like Double RL a lot, even if it’s hideously overpriced. Now it seems to be enjoying its moment to truly shine, with Ralph Lauren’s baby — a veritable Mr. Benn dress up in worn-in seasonal costumes that reflect a specific period — being the brand to be wearing. Tres Bien’s recent (intelligent) blast at the RRL sell-in, which was refreshing in a world where everyone seems to be outwardly nice about everything, linked to their Flickr, where they upped a phenomenal set of A/W RRL 2011 lookbook images. Now that’s woah. Sweden’s Très Bien actually have an amazing blog. Now every store feels obliged to have a blog because some tit told them they should, but like Oi Polloi, Très Bien seem so at ease with their chosen subject matter that they can get funny with it — watch them get their Black Rob on in a Dries van Noten post like this. To quote Rawse, fuck a blog, dog (unless you’re going to say something interesting in it). Despite being part of a vast corporation, Double RL maintains a certain mystique, and what’s reported there is probably part of it. They don’t just throw those accounts around like the dudes with ankle-tapper denim that dwell in that strange heritage gear hall at BBB. The very thing that pisses off partner retailers
In terms of marketing and approach, Double RL’s experienced some changes, but I still love the visual language of some of Bruce Weber’s original ads. Once, this line was a personal crusade for Lauren, but a perennial loss-maker in his Ahab-style quest to break the denim market with something he felt was authentic. Continuing the nautical literary riffing, it seemed to be something of a painstakingly vintaged albatross around the great man’s neck, appearing like some attempt to cash-in on a non-existent audience of wealthy grungers who would shell out $175 for distressed jeans in 1993. The Double RL bus doing the college rounds back then seems a little at odds with the densely packed curiosity store spaces and concessions scattered around the globe now. Lauren wants to imbue these pieces with implied stories like a hipper J. Peterman and I’m a fan, but once upon a time, he was buying back $10 million dollar’s worth of unsold stock to prevent it hitting sale racks with a vengeance. However, those horses from summer 1993, previewing the line and a particularly prescient selvedge turnup and vulc shoe combination from 1994 made for bold, brilliant campaigns. By looking back, Lauren was way ahead of his time. Oh yeah, was somebody trustworthy talking about Polo being discontinued soon? I hope it was just a bad dream.
Anyway, these ads are from the 1993, 1994 and 1995 print campaigns.
It’s nice to see these Supreme London box logo stickers cropping up too. This one’s shamelessly swaggerjacked and cropped from the homie Nick’s Tumblr. You knew there’d be a Union Jack Supreme box logo didn’t you?