Ralph Lauren Brand & Label Pecking order

Discussion in 'Andy's Fashion Forum' started by sia, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. sia

    sia VP AAAC Corporate Benefits

    Can anyone definitively rank the various Ralph Lauren brands and label colors?

    Polo by Ralph Lauren
    Ralph Lauren Purple Label
    Ralph Lauren
    Black Label
    Blue Label
    Lauren by Ralph Lauren
    Polo Jeans Co.
    Club Monaco
    Polo University
    Polo Denim
    Green Label
    Silver Label

    Am I missing any? Some of these are actual brands, some are just label colors. What does it all mean? I know Purple is (or at least was) the top dog. Where does everything else fit?
  2. omairp

    omairp Well-Known Member

    Top to Bottom (dress clothes collections):

    Purple Label
    Black Label
    Blue Label (this is Polo by Ralph Lauren)
    Silver Label
    Lauren by Ralph Lauren (I think this is green label)

    The rest are casual collections if I'm not mistaken. I dunno how they rank. They may be similar, just aimed at different market segments. Chaps is the absolute lowest on the list, and Club Monaco is ran like a completely separate company, so it doesn't fit neatly on the list.
  3. Orgetorix

    Orgetorix Well-Known Member

    I thought Chaps was a defunct label. At least there used to be suits with that label.
  4. jamgood

    jamgood Well-Known Member

    Suits, Sport coats, Better Trousers (any more info is too complicated and items are not licensed, but contracted in most cases)

    RL Purple Label hand tailored by SaintAndrews which has changed its name to Sartoria Santandrea Milano www.st-santandrea.it (under construction?) The Santandrea trousers have a white production tag on the pocketing. The non SantAndrea trousers have a purple production tag on the pocketing. (Made by Chester Barrie in Crewe, England until about 2001)

    RL Purple Label non-hand tailored. Reportedly by Cantarelli, the owner of St. Andrews until spring 2006. Unconfirmed. Considerably less expensive than the SantAndrea.

    RALPH LAUREN (blue label) better constructed Corneliani than Polo. Similar styles. Models = Jerome #

    Polo Ralph Lauren can run $1200 to over $2000 per suit depending on fabric and tailoring factors. Sport coats from roughly $1000 in wools to $2000 in cashmere tweeds. Corneliani. Trousers $325+ If a Polo item has a Made In Italy label it was probably made by some unit of Corneliani. Corneliani since 1999.

    Ralph Lauren Black Label trim suits currently about $1600? Maker ? Not the same production tags as Corneliani. I'd guess L.....

    Lauren (green label) made in Canada by Peerless. $?

    Chaps is still in the stable. Kohl's may have it exclusively. Dunno

    I don't think Polo University is made anymore.

    Rugby is a line originally targeted at college students.
  5. zarathustra

    zarathustra Well-Known Member

    Chaps is sold primarily at Kohls now.
  6. sartort

    sartort Well-Known Member

    Jamgood, you trailed off on your guess for black label. care to take a stab?
  7. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

    Recent investigative work at SF (with Iammatt's keen eye) suggests that Black Label was recently -- and I presume still is -- being made by Ma.Co, a small shop that sold its stuff under the Raffaelle Caruso brand and also does work for other labels.
  8. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

    Jamgood, are you sure Chaps is still a RL brand? I had heard that it had been spun off into an independent entity, and my nearest Belk undertook quite the project of replacing all the "Ralph Lauren Chaps" signs with ones that just say "Chaps." Considering they had to rip them out of the walls, it seemed like a lot of effort for a small change.
  9. sartort

    sartort Well-Known Member

    thanks Doc! Knowing that you own Polo/Blue label and Black label clothing, would you agree that the MA Co. stuff is better than Corneliani? Or is Black Label priced higher due to cut/style/branding?
  10. jamgood

    jamgood Well-Known Member

    Try going on the RL web site and checking on the retailers listed for your state. I did this about a year ago. After the one RL store (we're backwards) and several Factory Outlets, other retailers were listed including pro shops. Towarge the end of the list Kohl's locations began appearing. Puzzled, I realized that Kohl's advertised Chaps every Sunday in the bird cage liner. That may have changed, but I think there has just been a disassociation of the RL. RL has a luxury/exclusivity image re-branding strategery, even though you can still buy OCBDs in the T J Maxx for $30, about $10 less than the Factory Outlet nearby and $40 less than the RL store across town. Which is in the same mall as about 5 Polo retailers. Go figure. Chaps as a brand is listed on page 7 of the most recent SEC form 10K and the major licensees are listed 2 or 3 pages later. You can confirm the Corneliani license for ALL Polo brand tailored clothing. Apparently RLPL is contracted rather than licensed. I seem to recall that Chester Barrie RLPL had a license, but I could be mistaken. You can also read about the formation of RL watches and jewelry and other stuff. It ain't all numbers. Google: Polo Ralph Lauren 10K Several services offer a link. You may be more comfortable with the Business Week link. Paragraph.
  11. jamgood

    jamgood Well-Known Member

    www.raffaelecaruso.it What else is located on the Red Cross Road in Parma? A pair of genuine woven shoe laces to the winner!

    Are we sure about Ma Co.? Could it relate to the bank Mercato Alternativo del Capitale, or MAC. I kaint read English none two good, much less Itai. There are links indicating some type of negotiation between RC & MAC when browsed.

    I usually specialize in RLPL & PRL but have one 44L RLBL black 9 oz. 120's gab to list some time. I can't see that it's $400 better made than a similar Polo, but what do I know. I think the BL line is targeted at a supposedly more hip young urban type. Trimmer, narrower lapels and 2 buttons. Lower rise trousers. Similar to Paul Stuart's Phineas only in the Amish colour palette, sans cornflower blue shirt.

    Folks don't know, or have forgotten, that just after the launch of RLPL there was a line of RL with the same signature as RLPL but on a blue label. It was made by the Polo maker of the time but was supposed to be similar to PL in style. It was a little more expensive than Polo and lasted 2 or 3 years. Better fabrics and, often, belt-less trousers. Trimmer. Supposedly targeted at a similar demographic to the current BL.

    It's all so confusing from the perspective of a rural "rustic" modular abode in the middle of a soya field in non-metropolitan Kalina. Gotta go check the traps. I'll try to minimize variations of "suppose" in the future. I'm so limited.
  12. trims

    trims Well-Known Member

    To add some info:

  13. Flashy

    Flashy Well-Known Member

    Jamgood, Kohls does, or did, sell some Lauren Green Label shirts, maybe some other items from that line as well.

    There's also a Ralph line of dress pants and overcoats sold at Dillards and similar stores. Seems about on par with Lauren stuff.
  14. Rossini

    Rossini Well-Known Member

    Is any of the RL stuff any/particularly good? I owned a RL suit about 10 years ago and really liked it. Apart from socks, I haven't gone near the brand since because of the stigma associated with it (hype/preppie/wannabe/etc). I recently ordered a purple lable tie, knowing that (I think) they started out as a tie manufacturer and so may have some credibility in that area. So, my question is: what gems has my unreasonable and unfounded bias precluded me from wearing and enjoying - or, throughout the various lines of RL discussed above, are there specific garments that are particularly good quality or value at each level?
  15. trims

    trims Well-Known Member

    I'll leave the specifics to others, but there are good values to be had at several Polo levels, and overall very good garments at the higher levels.

    Don't put too much faith in their ties though, Ralph started as a tie salesman for another firm, and yes, Polo originally started by making ties, but they're not anything particularly special. I doubt you'll be disappointed, but I don't think you'll be 'wowed' either.
  16. JRR

    JRR Well-Known Member

  17. Northeastern

    Northeastern Well-Known Member

    Chaps was always a licensed brand of PRL. Prior to PVH I believe Warnaco owned the rights to the brand.
  18. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

    Purple Label and Black Label make very nice, fully canvassed suits and sportcoats, if you like the cut. (Black is very trim.) The Polo suits by Corneliani are partly fused, but it's some of the best fusing out there, and I happen to like the overall aesthetic. I'd be hard pressed to pay Ralph's absurd retail for a Polo suit, but they're often found on deep discount in interesting styles and configurations. Be careful with the Polo stuff, though -- only the better stuff is made in Italy, while a lot of the department-store merch is made in Eastern Europe. $700 for a fused sportcoat from Slovakia? No thanks.

    I'll second trims' comment about the PL ties. I've yet to see a tie from Ralph that has really wowed me in terms of construction/silk. I do, though, own several Polo knits, and give Ralph kudos for keeping them readily available. Overall, my impression of Ralph's ties is that they're often a bit stiff and don't drape that attractively.

    Similarly, I find Ralph's shirts -- even the PL ones -- just OK. PL strikes me as underwhelming at $350, or even $200. But the increasingly rare PL shoes by Edward Green are extremely nice, particularly when found at half off retail. Even Green's sale can't beat Ralph's sale price.

    Overall, Ralph makes some very nice stuff, but it takes a discriminating eye to sort the wheat from the chaff. As for Corneliani v. Black Label, I find it a tough comparison. I'd put the BL stuff on about equal footing with Corneliani -- they're both fully canvassed, mostly machine made coats with some handwork. Corneliani is more conservative, yet, for me, very elegant.
  19. SirSuturesALot

    SirSuturesALot Well-Known Member

    Doc, just to clarify, are you underwhelmed by the Black Label shirts as well? I bought one for $175 and I like the way it looks (especially the modern cut collar), but am a little disappointed by the build quality. I'm wrestling with myself over whether or not to return it.
  20. emorel98

    emorel98 Well-Known Member

    Whoever makes Caruso, also makes Lanvin, RL Black Label, Dunhill (the older made in Italy line, not the current junk), Jil Sander Tailored, some Boss Baldessarini.

Share This Page