Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Feminine Differential - Cost of Style

There is no question that this fashion layout contains a beautiful outfit. I put it together from a recent Ralph Lauren (RL) "Collection" label offering. One can only dream. If you are tall (count you blessings girls) this is stunning outfit. It looks like something Melania would wear. Side note - I will miss seeing her style.  

Melania wearing a sky blue
 cashmere suit by Ralph Lauren Collection

This is not meant to pick on Ralph Lauren and RL has always been one of my favorite designers.  In the past I have enjoyed his store in Palm Beach and at times purchased there when items were on sale.  I have a good friend that works there and I would get calls when the sales got good. Also I enjoy browsing the on-line store.  

Recently I have read that the brand was having financial problems as so many fashion names. To help there seems to be a new direction taking place. Not one that is favorable for the average, middle-class shopper. At a time of economic troubles this makes little long term sense.* 

Forbes describes the situation like this:

All were finding (Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Coach, and other luxury brands) what retail veterans already knew, that once an upscale brand gets “taken downstairs,” as they say, bringing it all the way back up is difficult and rare. Yet for RL Corp., a far larger business than those others, it had to be done.

Personally I see the changes as abandoning their core constituency and general market. Good luck, because I have always enjoyed the styles. For now I am only an observer; not customer.  

RL Alligator Purse - $29,500

The above layout is all 2020 Ralph Lauren Collection:  Dolman-Sleeve Sweater ($1290.00);  Herringbone Pencil Skirt ($1190.00); Celia Calfskin Pump ($675.00) or the pump in ostrich ($995.00).  For a seasonal outfit all put together, that is a whopping $3155.00.  Now dear friends, that is a feminine differential, if you dare.


PS: A business has the absolute right to choose their clientele and use price to discriminate. For years RL has had their outlet brands that are manufactured for that venue and that brand bares little resembles to their designer labels. 

As I look in my closet I have a good number of RL fashion and have always liked the way the pieces work together. I just believe it is extremely short sighted to shrink you market for a quick return alienating other loyal customers. Under current limited market conditions plus the fact that Ralph Lauren at 81 is the majority stock holder, I understand the rational.      




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