Oi Polloi

Double RL = Double Good

Published: Thu Apr 07 2011

Born as Lifschitz not Lauren, Ralph is a native New Yorker, who spent his formative years in The Bronx.

He had a fairly ordinary upbringing as the son of Belarussian Jewish immigrants. His old man was a house painter and he shared a bedroom with two of his three brothers. It’s often said he had an eye for smart clothing from a very early age, choosing to work extra hard in New York department stores to afford expensive, stylish clothing rather than the stuff his mates wore.

While he was later to become arguably the most iconic clothing designer of his generation, his early education was in business school, where he spent two years before dropping out and joining the army. On leaving the army in 1964 he got married, snagged a job working as a salesman for Brooks Brothers and with it, took his first tentative steps into the world of men’s fashion.

It was the launch of his own Polo brand in 1967 which propelled Ralph Lauren into the big time. Three years later the Ralph Lauren Polo shirt was born redefining what had previously been the tennis shirt, and stealing a march on Lacoste in the process.

Ralph has enjoyed the trappings of success. He owns homes in Manhattan, Long Island, Jamaica and even runs a ranch in Colorado.

The latter has provided him with lots of influences on which to base his Double RL line. His 16,000 acre Colorado gaff (pictured above) is called the Double RL ranch. Ralph seems to be influenced by a romantic version of Americana, an almost fantasy world where the history and tradition of the nation is magnified and celebrated. In Double RL he has the embodiment of that, from navajo prints to the best denim you’ll find, Double RL is like a concentrated version of what the entire Ralph Lauren empire is all about.

Double RL jeans represent the ultimate in denim, they’re the best we sell. With far reaching contacts and the high profile to match, Ralph Lauren has managed to produce a high spec denim without compromise. They’ll age well which is handy – they’re built to last.

That timeless theme is something that runs through the entire Double RL collection. The Farrell shirt (above) and Matlock shirt (below) have that slightly worn look while retaining an obviously brand new feel. They’re an ideal post-check option and have a quality that is hard to find in other brands. Even the buttons are posh, right down to the way they’re stitched on, although we might be getting slightly too far into obsessive mode there.

The T-Shirts also stand out. Unlike some of the other striped tees you may find, these are woven not printed. The indigo tee (below) in particular is built to gradually gather a slightly distressed look over time, which will add a bit of unique character to it. Really wearable.

And finally, shirt wise does it get much better than a pink Oxford in chambray? We’ve never seen another one like it.

Double RL is only available instore or via telephone order. 

Oi Polloi
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