Not as good as it was. Better than it will be.
Hard to think of what another few years would have done to the image. They should have just stuck to the original plan.
Makaga has left a new comment on your post "":I can sense a change from the first photo to the next, but does anyone recall a sudden change? Was there one season where the look/price suddenly got out of whack? The pricing always seemed too high for my budget.
Is it any surprise, given the lack of sophistication in young people today, that this is the way the brand went? Frankly, the models in that second picture look like characters in some High School Musical reincarnate. But that's what the kids are into these days. When they want to dress up, it's a ritalin-inspired, 2 second dose of proper planning at the last minute, and argyle ankle socks worn gaudily under rolled up chinos (topped off with a collar pin if we're really ambitious) is their way of doing it.
Saw his famous Big Suit jacket on display at SFMOMA. An unexpected treat.-DB
I have no experience with Rugby, but I have in my time, seen some original business models morph into their pale imitators because the boss had a fragile ego, no real depth of understanding and little genuine, authentic self confidence. The mere presence of a competitor compelled the original business to imitate the copy rather than stick to that which made it successful in the first place! The last photo sure looks like Tommy Hilfiger to me.
"Hard to think what another few years would have done?" Rugby hired Fred Castleberry. That should give you some idea.
David- I don't mean to talk up something I can't show you -- but the intent was not just admirable. It was inspirational. And hacks wait for the trail to be cleared and make the easy dough while the explorers get screwed. Makaga- It started to change, best I can guess, around 2007. There was still a grown up vibe with the suits, shirts and ties but someone cranked up the logo factory big time. Peter- Great comment. I can't add anything to it. DB- Thanks for that, Dave.Oyster- You're are a wise man. I'll see if I can't get you some pics of Alice.Anon- Fred's had far more success with his blog than I've had with mine.
Well put! Someone cranked up the logo factory is right! The shirts with the biggest logos had the biggest markdowns come sale time...racks and racks. It was like the battle of the logo bands between Tommy H and RL. Like the razor blade wars. They have two blade shavers, we'll create three. They have four? F it, we're going with five!! I think J Crew has it right for the collegiate target audience. On a side note, when a clothing brand enters the home furnishing phase, you know you've ridden that "pony" long enough!
I don't think it's a lack of sophistication for the "kids these days"(he says at the ripe, old age of 35). It's more a lack of knowing how to actually wear -- say -- a sport coat in what passes for polite society without making it seem like an affected anachronism. It takes awhile to get comfortable in your adult skin -- to get beyond, "Oh, crap, my life demands I wear a tie/clerical collar/c-cap/some other strange device that isn't an old Guided By Voices t-shirt" and then figure out how to not feel like a total tool because of it. It involves trial and error, and maybe a stupid purchase or two.
Re: FECWhen I first saw his blog, I actually thought it was sponsored by Rugby. If UP was just a chapter in "How to Get the Job", then my hat is off to him. But you already have a job, don't you?
If there's a lack of sophistication in 'kids these days,' look no further than their Slob-fest parents, most of whom I see dressed like 14-year old boys and girls, and most wanting to be their children's friend, rather than their parent. Oh, the horror of actually taking a stand, and having Junior and Missy annoyed with you! Funny, but I remember my (well-dressed) parents being completely fine with my fit of pique.... Because the cultural revolution of 1967 threw the baby out with the bath water, we have a couple of generations, including those targeted by Rugby and A & F, who haven't the lightest inkling about dressing, or of style in general. Labels have replaced Style, and the celebrity manque has replaced Taste. Nothing new, really. Plus ca change...
Smitty- When you're young, you're screaming for attention and I suppose there's a lot of that. I think of the young men I know who are highly evolved...To a man, they avoid the 'look at me' branding. Drew- I'll be the first to admit (Actually, I already have) to owning Nik Nik shirts and a white suit in the '70s while I was in the Army. In college, a girl friend subscribed to Town & Country and I was probably reading Bruce Boyer without knowing it. I'll admit that Preppy was big then but I the movie that really impressed me was Animal House. Specifically, Otter. If Fred Astaire was Ralph Lauren's influence -- Tim Matheson was mine. It pains me to admit it but it's true. Anon 0400 - Man, you're up late. No, I don't have a job. Most likely because of this blog. Anon 10:14 - Mostly I agree. I have an eye test that tells me a lot about someone. Mostly it has to do with a deadness behind the eyes. Flat. No light. I've met a lot of people who work in fashion and consider themselves to have boat loads of style. But their eyes...it's as if they have the hundred yard combat stare. I'd rather hang with a flip flop wearing, 20 cat owning man with light behind his eyes than the erudite and sophisticated New Yorker wih dead eyes. But that's just me.
Very much enjoyed this post, and all the comments. To me, the beauty of The Trad is that it's only tangentially about men's fashion; it's really about "life stuff". Although, take that for what it's worth coming from a guy trying to build his own time machine back to 1986 (four-panel cords; old 300 diesel Benz sedan; etc.)Put it this way: Fred over-uses words like "tangentially"; Tintin tells you where to find the Otter sweater. (p.s. - Brooks Brothers sold a very, very similar one a couple of years back - stripes were thinner, but picked it up at their outlet for a very reasonable price).
Any idea which manufacturer in South Carolina made the clothing for Rugby? The early stuff was good.
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