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Posts Tagged ‘Ralph Lauren’

 

People ask how can a Jewish kid from the Bronx do preppy clothes? Does it have to do with class and money? It has to do with dreams.”  

–Ralph Lauren

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DNR Polo 2

 

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TARTAN Romancing the Plaid by Jeffrey Banks & Doria De La Chapelle

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Tartan makes me feel like no other fabric.  I can’t say it any better than the book, a must read- “Whenever the word tartan is mentioned, scores of exuberant images abound.  Like a flag, tartan evokes the Scottish nation and its colorful kilted clans.  It resonates with the wail of bagpipes.  It snaps to attention with its smart, symmetrical design.

But tartan is more than a design, it is a sign; and while it signifies kinship (real or imagined), country, and celebration of the Scots, its subtext is dignity, distinctiveness. and a sense of belonging- qualities that possess universal appeal. That is perhaps the reason why tartan, a textile indigenous to the Highlands, has evolved into one of the world’s most popular fabrics, beloved by just about everyone. Scot or not.”

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The impeccable Jeffrey Banks

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Knowing Jeffrey Banks, I can tell you that writing this book was a passionate labor of love for him.  An avid collector of all things tartan, particularly Black Watch, Jeffrey is the tartan authority and owns some of the greatest pieces I’ve seen– apparel, accessories, home furnishings, tartanware– you name it.  Jeffrey- I want that Black Watch toggle coat when you die!  No hurry, chap.

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Jeffrey Banks’ personal collection of tartanware. Photo by Thom Gilbert.

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Jeffrey Banks is one of those guys that seems to have been born with impeccable style.  As a high-schooler working at the legendary shop Britches, he was tapped by Ralph to come work for him.  Ralph became very fond of Jeffrey– he even lent him his own personal tuxedo and pumps for his Senior Prom.  Polo was a small company back then, so he worked directly with Ralph as his design assistant, and they are still close today.

Jeffrey, passionate about design, made the decision to leave Polo and finish his studies at Pratt Institute and Parsons.  Jeffrey later designed for Calvin, and Merona Sportswear, among others.  He launched his own menswear collection in 1977 to much acclaim, and is among the “who’s who” of fashion.  Jeffrey is one of the most dapper guys going, and a two-time winner of the Coty American Fashion Critics award.

I have a great story for you about Jeffrey in a kilt- but that’s for another time.

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Rugby

Rugby, University Place NYC

The NYC Rugby staff rockin' the tartan.

Ralph Lauren is the hands-down American master of creating lifestyle fashion brands and awe-inspiring retail environments.  I love the Rugby product and stores.  The brand is very young & preppy with a witty, sexy, irreverent slant.  Sometimes the staff is a little “too cool for school”… but please,  you would too if you looked that good.

More from The New York Times by Alex Kuczynski – (more…)

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