After a long anticipated wait, Ralph Lauren has finally opened the doors of its London flagship Polo store, the first and only Polo flagship in Europe. The almost 18,000 square foot store spans over three stories of prime Regent Street real estate.
A mere stone's throw away from The Rake’s office, it poses a threat to all of our bank accounts as well as a time-vacuum for the hours we will no doubt spend shopping.
Walking into the store, one is welcomed with traditional Ralph Lauren antique chestnut furniture. The men’s collection is presented in a nonchalant yet neat way, piled up onto antique pool tables and luggage; one cannot help but to approach and touch what's on offer, all fashioned on hangers and mannequins in typically cool, curated yet carefree Ralph Lauren style. The ground floor is home to ‘haberdashery and other tailored menswear', set in a club-like atmosphere. I can personally guarantee that once you head into the dressing rooms you won’t want to leave; sprawling chambers fitted with plush carpets, leather banquettes and oversized mirrors create a space like the living room you always wanted.
Pop down to the lower ground and the first thing you will notice is the wooden rowing boat, strategically positioned on the ceiling, a nod to Polo’s preppy style. Look beneath and the store's pièce de résistance will meet your excited gaze: The Polo custom shop. On iPads you are able to customise your own Polo or Oxford shirt, and even emblazon upon it a new addition to the Lauren family, the Regent Street bear. It doesn’t stop there. You can even create your very own heraldic crest to place upon the breast pocket of your Ralph Lauren blazer, an undoubted future staple in your autumn/winter wardrobe.
On either side of the custom shop you will find two separate rooms, one solely dedicated to tonally grey menswear and the other, to every occasion imaginable; every fashion problem solved, the Ralph Lauren way.
If you are visiting, you simply cannot miss the women’s floor; a dream in cream and a veritable haven from the bustle of one of London’s busiest streets. Hidden at the back of the women’s department you will find a discreet entrance into the children’s section. A big kid's paradise of tartan curtains, a patchwork Persian rug, an oversized wooden plane and bears dominate the room. If Hamley’s was a concern before, be warned; there is no doubt this traditional room will keep any child occupied for hours.