Ralph Lauren returned to the world of in-person fashion on Tuesday with the brand’s first catwalk show since 2019. Held in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Lauren transformed a gallery into an intimate sitting room, replacing seated rows with cozy coffee tables and crisp white banquettes. The atmostphere was less big brand experience than being privy to something personal and special.
America has some way to go to catch up to Europe’s luxury sector and rival the craftsmanship of Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Chanel, but Ralph Lauren is easily the epitome of American luxury and aspirational fashion.
The story of polo has brought Ralph Lauren an unmatched brand identity and global reach, and despite all the factory outlets and discount logo shirts, any dilution of brand equity hasn’t tarnished the top line or its affluent customer base.
The show of 61 looks featured both men’s and womenswear, opened by Gigi Hadid in a preppy RL logo v-neck, button down and two-tone classic shoe. The blazer was a collection staple, and came in single and double-breasted variants, a multitude of checks and stripes but also equestrian-inspired and for elegant after hours. The tuxedo jacket is a Ralph Lauren mainstay as are the sensuous wools.
Mostly the collection played on a black and white palette, of Lauren's vision of elegance and nostalgia, culminating in a season for well-dressed sophisticates who prefer timeless fashion over fads.
Guests sat on furniture that could be found in the décor of Lauren’s 5th Avenue apartment, like the art deco steel chairs, the white sofa loungers, and the black and white photography that adorns the walls of his residences and stores.
The enduring allure of Ralph Lauren, who is now 82 and in his six decade of business, is the sound knowledge of his customer base and never straying from his signature style.