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Ralph Lauren’s Los Angeles Fashion Show Attracts Hollywood Heavyweights

Jennifer Lopez, Diane Keaton and others were on hand for the brand’s first-ever runway on the West Coast, where the customer base is swiftly growing.
Ralph Lauren hosted a fashion show at Huntington, a museum and research institution in Los Angeles.
Ralph Lauren hosted a fashion show at Huntington, a museum and research institution in Los Angeles. (Lauren Sherman)

SAN MARINO, Calif. Like many designers, Ralph Lauren is a cinephile, whose vision for his brand is theatrical in scope: a movie with infinite sequels. But he is decidedly East Coast in his sensibility, and has never shown a collection in Los Angeles until Thursday evening. What felt like a last bastion of the Hollywood A-List — longtime house muse Diane Keaton, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, Sylvester Stallone and others — sat in the moonlit front row beside TikTok influencers and top clients, taking in the brand’s latest runway proposition: a 120-plus-look fantasia of products spanning several Ralph Lauren collections, including the traditional runway line, Double RL (rustic, upscale denim and workwear), Polo men’s and women’s, Purple menswear and children’s.

The exquisite gardens at the Huntington, an art museum and research institution embedded in a pretty, sleepy suburb just south of Pasadena and east of Los Angeles, make for a perfect destination runway show: just a few years ago, sister-designers Rodarte — who live nearby — staged a collection in the same location. Lauren’s team used the quarry-tiled entrance of the marble museum building to showcase the brand’s complete world, with songs of California bubbling out the speakers. (Lauren took his bow to Neil Diamond’s “I Am… I Said”: “Well I’m New York City born and raised / But nowadays / I’m lost between two shores.”)

Ralph Lauren, the company, has spent the last five or so years polishing up the brand, hoping to make its expensive products more appealing, and its less-expensive products worthy of their full price. It succeeds at runway shows when they’re not only about the high end, because what makes Ralph Lauren unique is that the everyday items — a polo, a pillow sham — still delight.

This season, the typical vignettes of cowgirls in floral dresses, weathered ranch-hands in worn denim and couples in crisp white — even the saturated prism of those multilayered Sport looks — were given an ideal backdrop: a pristine marble building against lush, but also pristine, greenery. (Always polished, no matter the terrain.) While the styling was quite traditional, a few nylon balls gowns, served up at the end, offered a wrinkle of a surprise.

Like many fashion brands, the US became a growth engine for Ralph Lauren during these strange pandemic times. But unlike some of its European counterparts, the company didn’t quite realise just how much opportunity was left for it, especially in the Southwest and West Coast, which are under-penetrated compared to the eastern seaboard and Deep South. (Even as fashion spending slows in the US, there are still longterm gains to be had.)

The brand’s CEO, Patrice Louvet, spent the week prior to the show visiting key cities, including Seattle and San Francisco, in order to get a sense of what Ralph Lauren’s next phase of retail expansion in the area should look like. At the show in Los Angeles, where the company operates several stores, each with a specific purpose, serving a specific consumer — they’re on Rodeo Drive and in Century City, in Saks but also Macy’s — Ralph Lauren hosted a slew of major clients, who buy everything from Purple Label to Double RL. They put them up at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, then whisked them off to the show. A perfect Hollywood ending.

Further Reading

The designer will show his Spring/Summer 2023 menswear and womenswear collections in Southern California on Oct. 13. The brand said the collection will be presented in a “special fashion experience that will be uniquely Ralph Lauren,” but did not disclose any other details.



The brand’s collaboration with historically-black Morehouse and Spelman colleges was both celebrated and pilloried online. The fate of an ambitious attempt by a mainstream brand to tackle the issues raised in summer 2020 could influence future Black-focused campaigns for years to come.




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