Its no secret that we love Ralph Lauren.
The RL collections have been inspiring us for years. Fashion collectors scour eBay, vintage stores, secondhand stores and more for vintage Ralph Lauren pieces. Interior designers, too, can feel the rush of a decorator high when they find pristine pieces from Lauren’s past collections out of their natural habitat of department stores and perfectly curated Ralph Lauren boutiques. But whether you get more of a thrill from the hunt or the find, a visit to Ralph Lauren’s new online concept, RL Vintage, will sate the itch for the designer’s archival duds.
RL Vintage is a response by the company to fans’ nearly insatiable need for one-of-a-kind Ralph Lauren pieces. David, Ralph’s son, discovered Japanese magazines dedicated to his father’s work in the ’80s and ’90s as well as Reflex, a boutique in Tokyo that specializes solely in finding pristine pieces of vintage Ralph and selling to collectors. Upon his return to the states, David found over 300,000 eBay listings for Ralph items and discovered a whole culture revolving around the pure American design that his father built an empire around. With the launch of RL Vintage, David brings together a collector’s dream of merchandise as well as all the details that a history buff lives for (whether its fashion history or American history is up to interpretation).
The RL Vintage site will change seasonally, and for its debut, the Web site’s first batch of 50 pieces highlight Ralph’s obsession with the American West. Native American influences, cowboy culture and the patina of bygone rodeos and cattle drives are pervade the pieces, which run the gamut from military-inspired tailoring to fringed jackets and sarape-printed blanket coats.