For many, it was a sad day when Ralph Lauren closed the RRL store on Mount Street in Mayfair a couple of years back. If you were one of them, you can wipe away those tears as the American design powerhouse has just opened up a new store in Soho on Newburgh Street – in our opinion, a much better fit when taking into account RRL’s rugged style and Newburgh Street’s equally rugged occupants.
The line, which sits underneath the global Ralph Lauren umbrella, was founded 20 years ago and takes its name from the Lauren’s immensely desirable ranch in Colorado. Keeping true to form, its aesthetic is deliberately a deviation away from the preppy aesthetics of Polo and away from the functional aspect of Polo Sport, and is one of the reasons why Ralph Lauren appeals to so many people from all walks of life.
The area in and around Newburgh Street has become a bit of a Mecca for those seeking American Heritage, with the likes of Shinola, Levi’s Vintage Clothing, Filson and Red Wing all within a stones’ throws distance. A popular destination, for us fellow urbanites who live behind a computer, this appreciation heritage clothing is still on the rise. It somehow connects you to not only a climate but a way of living that’s in turn totally disconnected from our own metropolis and our little ecosystem. Ralph Lauren has always aced this transformative approach to his collections and retail hubs.
What’s different about a RRL store is that, unlike many other brands, it sells vintage Americana alongside its current season product. Inside, you can find all the classics: distressed and raw selvedge denim jeans; washed-out, tube-knit T-shirts in neutrals and pastels; Navajo-inspired blanket cardigans; printed cotton bandanas; military-grade chinos; cowboy hats; plaid flannel shirts; and, of course, heavy-duty motorcycle and aviator jackets cut from sturdy hides. All of these have clear references to workwear, sportswear and military wear and can be easily mixed and matched together for a unique look.
All of these product categories are displayed in period-correct oak furnishings and atop of miscellaneous receptacles and beaten-up work tables that sit alongside leather furnitures that no doubt have many stories to tell. Complementing them are the vintage pieces of jewellery, arguably the most interesting when it comes to stories, which thankfully the attentive staff are happy to wax lyrical about. Overall, it’s warming and inviting, and it works so, so well.
Check out the store at 6 Newburgh Street, Soho, London, W1F 7RQ