The OG Is Back: the new Originals collection by Polo Ralph Lauren
The new collection — which takes its inspiration from British motor sport’s illustrious and dashing history — shows the label at its peerless best. THE RAKE was given a front-row seat at Goodwood.
Ralph Lauren is nothing if not a novel, one that blends fiction and non-fiction seamlessly. We punters merely watch agog as each perfect mannequin is added to a window display, or amused and entranced by the latest collection of Polo Bear sweaters. Most of all, we escape into the campaigns. Over the 56 years of brand Ralph Lauren, its campaigns have stayed true to the core values of fashion’s raison d’être — a place where everyone feels welcome, where we can find an expression (sometimes an unknown expression) of ourselves, and where, in gazing upon it, we are inspired and uplifted.
Anyone who works in fashion dreams of being able to experience the energy, professionalism and excellence that goes into a Ralph Lauren campaign, so when The Rake was invited to join them at the Goodwood motor circuit — not only to witness the creation of their latest Polo Originals campaign but to capture our own imagery from the day — we were acutely aware of the privilege involved.
The first Originals collection was inspired by public schools and rugby; for this collection, the wonderful and illustrious heritage of British motor racing, as well as academia, takes centre stage.
Distressed leather jackets that were inspired by jackets in Mr. Lauren’s personal collection, and country fabrics and colours on Polo staples like Fair Isle sweaters, greatcoats and waxed cotton jackets, stay true to the Polo ethos but transport you to the heyday of the Bentley Boys and beyond.
Richard Phibbs — a remarkable photographer with whom we have been lucky enough to have worked in the past — captured this collection, just as he did the first, with that cinematic inflection unique to Ralph Lauren, giving the models power and relatability. One needs to be able to see one’s self in place of the model to feel in tune with a brand, and Ralph Lauren love to invite everyone in. As a nod to the occasion and the location, the heir apparent to the Goodwood legacy, Charles, Earl of March and Kinrara, joined the photoshoot.
At this year’s Goodwood Revival, the festival at which 60,000 people per day descend on the estate, dressed in the spirit of the 1940s, fifties and sixties, the images were released for all to see. They exhibited the drama and immaculate finishing of the Ralph Lauren modus operandi. The Rake was proud to be the first publication to capture follow-up photographs of the collection, which we present to you here.
Polo Ralph Lauren is emerging as the most relevant, evocative brand not just for Ralph Lauren but for all of menswear. Their engines have been warmed up, and I get the feeling they are approaching top speed.
Read the full story in Issue 90, available now.