RRL at the Rhinelander Mansion | A Continuous Lean.

RRL at the Rhinelander Mansion

Sep 8th, 2010 | Categories: Americana, Men's Stores, New York City | by Michael Williams


The folks at Ralph Lauren invited me up to their newly redone Rhinelander Mansion at 72nd Street & Madison for a preview of the new shop. Obviously my favorite part of the store is the RRL shop on the third floor. Stepping into The Mansion is an instant reminder of RL’s unmatched ability to create the finest retail experience on the earth. After this morning I feel comfortable in saying that no one does it better. Mind blowing would be an apt description.

The RRL shop has a few different exclusive items that you won’t find at any of the other stores — from deadstock duck camo ties to a tasty oil cloth trench coat — there are also a few different new made in the USA boots (like the Bowery Boot that was featured on ACL a while back) including a shell cordovan option. One other new addition on offer at the Mansion RRL shop is a selection of tailored sport coats and vests made from various tweeds, including a good selection of Harris Tweed clothing and accessories.

While the Melrose RRL store is still my favorite, this new uptown RRL is a worthy destination. More coverage of The Mansion’s update coming soon.

RRL at the Ralph Lauren Rhinelander Mansion // 867 Madison Avenue // Upper East Side

Comments: 70

70 Comments to “RRL at the Rhinelander Mansion”

  1. adease
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 1:24 PM

    Wow, they allowed an actual blogger into the space and actually blog about it! Does look mighty fine, the goods, especially the boots if I do say so myself. You’re right, no one creates the mood/setting like the folks at RL and especially RRL.

  2. Yokoo
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 1:56 PM

    Thanks for posting these!! I don’t know when I will be able to get up there and see it! Ahh everything is PERFECT!!

  3. Paul
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 2:14 PM

    I would like to spend the night there!!!

  4. calabreezy
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 2:27 PM

    The space looks beautiful, but something about Ralph Lauren as a whole really bothers me. There’s something so slick and phony about it all. I don’t see why anyone would buy a pair of boots from a company that also manufactures paint and an entire line for discount stores, among other things, when a pair of Red Wing Pecos could be purchased for what I’m assuming is about a third of the price. It’s kind of like someone buying a Yahama guitar instead of a Martin.

  5. Robin
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 2:38 PM

    >Wow, they allowed an actual blogger into the space and actually blog about it!

    No joke. Are they finally loosening up their no pictures or prices published online policy? It’s impossible to find information on the brand.

  6. trm
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 3:13 PM

    you are soo lucky to be invited to preview the newly renovated RL Mansion. Nice pix!!..I cant wait to visit

  7. Berton718
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 3:20 PM

    I love it!! I can’t WAIT to see it in person!! Thanks for the sneak peak!!

  8. Kenyan
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 3:29 PM

    Michael…

    I just completed some 5′ wooden RRL letters for them…I guess they have something opening up across the street as well. They truly are the very best at what they do…hands down!

  9. PatagoniaCommunity
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 3:35 PM

    Nice pics. Did you catch a price on the plaid flannel shirts? Curious how much they run.

  10. Edubs01
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 3:55 PM

    New shop looks awesome.
    I am actually planning on making the trek up to NYC this weekend to do some shopping and check it out.
    @PatagoniaCommunity – flannels are usually priced at $185

  11. Peter
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 4:08 PM

    I think Ralph Lauren doesn’t get enough credit for bringing the aspirational aspects of fashion to everyone. Since the 70s’ he’s basically nailed every trend years before it hit the stores. Like his clothes or not, try to imagine what the fashion/style world would be like without his vision.

    And, he has perhaps the world’s best collection of classic and vintage cars.

  12. Manny
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 4:19 PM

    Great work! Store looks like it has an awesome vibe, looking forward to seeing it in person.

  13. Max
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 4:20 PM

    Oh. My. God. This is your best post ever! RRL gear provokes such giddiness…

    Those distressed wingtips and engineer boots are mind-bogglingly awesome. Any idea how much they run ?

  14. PastoralVelo
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 4:39 PM

    Damn. This is a great post. Is there RRL on the West Coast? NorCal specifically?

  15. kevin
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 4:42 PM

    how exactly does the “made in the usa” “americana” vibe gel with distressed boots…seems like a conflict if interest. if you want distressed boots, buy them new and wear them.

  16. porter
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 4:44 PM

    The RRL store is like a wet dream. It’s really pure perfection.

  17. Gary
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 4:44 PM

    I want to like Ralph more but it’s all just a little too perfect. The ‘distressed’ stuff especially.

  18. Charles
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 4:46 PM

    I love RRL stuff, but the prices just send me packin every time. I really do not understand some of the prices there, I really feel you can achieve the same look/ style etc shopping at J. Crew, Levi, and cottage industry type places, without dropping that much change. But when your Ralph Lauren you can set the price.

  19. Jojoba
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 5:11 PM

    I agree with Calabreezy especially regarding the boots if you are going to RRL for work boots something is terribly, terribly wrong. Like getting a safari vest from D&G. You can get great boots for a fraction of the price other places.

  20. Max
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 5:11 PM

    @Pastoral

    The Ralph Lauren store in the Pacific Heights district has a huge RRL inventory – I think it might be the biggest selection in the US outside of the Melrose and NYC stores. I was there about a month ago while travelling and it was pretty jaw droppingly awesome.

    @Charles

    I think some of the prices are higher because: they make the clothing “old-school style” using old school machinery and non-modern production methods – that is what gives it that “vintage” look .. also some of the items are legitimately “vintage” as they are purchased from estate sales around the country… this was according to the really cool salesman at the Ralph Lauren store in San Fran…

  21. unitedstyle
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 5:30 PM

    I’m with Gary about wanting to like Ralph more but that perfection is a little bit of a turn-off. That said, the store looks amazing.

  22. Max
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 6:41 PM

    RRL they did it again…!

  23. Ro
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 6:44 PM

    Man that looks stunning. If only we were privileged enough to have one similar here down in Australia! Alas we have to contend with printed t-shirts and decals on business shirts. Go figure. At least I can get a small fix on ACL!

  24. PatagoniaCommunity
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 6:50 PM

    Edubs01 thanks for the info. I figured they’d be up there.

  25. Don Weir
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 7:02 PM

    I started to respond to the non-believers with facts about the brand that only those who manufacture and sell it are aware of, but I won’t waste my breath. The work that goes into this line is unmatched. It’s the best of the best. Great post Michael.

  26. chris
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 7:02 PM

    The analogy of RRL to Redwings and Yamaha to Martin is a little backwards. The RRL footwear are hand made in quantities of about 50 per style, Red Wings are produced by the 1000′s. Also, all of the “pre-distressed” footwear there is real vintage, mostly from the 40′s, and 50′s.

  27. alan
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 7:26 PM

    Ralph lauren is exactly the kind of non thinking, 100 percent commercial, pseudo aspirational fraud that is being perpetrated by the current trendiness of take ivy and true prep- a triumvirate of bullshit. also, what about the “made in USA” craftsman pride that this blog supposedly espouses- take a look at the label and see what you get (or don’t get)

  28. Sinuhe
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 8:17 PM

    On the note of the RRL boots I have been to the workshop where they are made and they are made by a true craftsman by hand. I don’t mean that he hand stitches it, but each boot is handled by one to two people. The leather selected and cut by him The only upgrade to the RRL boots would be to have a pair custom made by said craftsman.

  29. Ted
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 8:28 PM

    Made in the USA?
    Ralph is made in the USA. This started with a couple of ties. Pretty fucking impressive. The guy is still inspired at 70. Great photos Mr. Williams.

  30. S. Goldman
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 8:33 PM

    The Bowery Boots are $ 795 a pair and the Engineer Boots are $ 995. I imagine the Cordovan Bowery Boots are going to sell for $ 1895. Anyone know what the price is for these?

  31. Ted
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 8:50 PM

    Ralph is “made in the USA”. This all started with a few ties. At 70 he still continues to inspire. I had a chance to take a train ride home with Doug their Vintage Buyer. He’s a cool Dude with a great job. Also I own a Washburn. Bought it 15 years ago and it sounds better now.

  32. Barnyard Boy
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 8:53 PM

    RRL-AUTHENTIC AMERICAN. MADE IN CHINA

  33. jsqfunk
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 9:31 PM

    i did not notice this before but on the rl website they are advertising items with a “made in America” icon – for example their shoes…

    http://www.ralphlauren.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=1898623&s=D-StorePrice-POLO&ab=viewall&view=all

    starts at the ~$500 range

  34. Michael Williams
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 10:26 PM

    I just want to point out that Barnyard Boy was logged in from American Eagle.

  35. Jeremiah Simmons
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 10:27 PM

    RRL is killing it!

  36. Mario
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 12:00 AM

    RRL is not mass produced and it’s pure American quality so what’s the big deal? If you don’t like it don’t buy it. It’s not like Ralph is trying to hide that his brand branches out to make cheap shit like Chaps at Kohl’s, or that his Polo line isn’t made in a third world country. Sure maybe he sold his sole to the devil but sometimes you have to respect a well made product and his business savvy.

  37. Mario
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 12:01 AM

    Plus when I see these pics all I wanna do is wear those lovely clothes

  38. Ryan
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 12:03 AM

    Made in China flannel shirts for almost $200. Gag me.

  39. David
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 3:18 AM

    I got that giddy feeling when i seen this. I just bought my first RRL product today because of this post. Sure its not from the store specific (RRL in OHIO?) prob not going to happen. Got a blue Chambray off Ebay.

    I’ve been comparing the J Crew Liquor Store and This RRL Mansion of awesomeness and i dig the liquor store still. I think i need a video. Someone get in there and James Bond that shit.

  40. Tintin
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 6:09 AM

    My invite musta got lost in the mail.

  41. alan
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 6:52 AM

    I will personally go to this centre of stolen ideas bullshit despite my massive hatred of ralph lauren to flip over at least twenty tags/labels in different sections throughout the store to confirm the “Made in USA” or “Made in China” aspect of this.

  42. the dude
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 9:07 AM

    Their jeans and select pieces are made in the USA. Everything else is made in asia: China/India/etc.

    I don’t get the complaint about the prices. I’m assuming most of the people buying RRL also like brands like EG, WWM where shirts start at $180 and go up into the $200+ range or other Japanese brands in the same price range. As someone else mentioned, RRL isn’t mass produced like the rest of RL stuff, so you are also paying a premium for that. When you are a Small, like me, you also compete with guys re-selling pieces to Japan.

    To the people claiming they just rip-off vintage pieces, that’s pretty much what all the other brands are doing, some re-interpretation of vintage pieces. In the end, clothes are just clothes, buy what you like.

  43. Greg D.
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 9:38 AM

    Looks good and all, but if you want to be real – just stick to the originals and be real. A knock off is a knock off no matter what it costs. If you can afford the RRL stuff and are a lazy uptown poseur more power to you – but it will show.

    You can buy just as well made (probably out of the same labor camp) flannel shirts for $30 – $40 if you know where to look.

    People – you all know you are paying for THE LABEL.

  44. tom
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 9:38 AM

    Will you have to be there in person to get the boots?

  45. Paul
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 9:49 AM

    I don’t understand the hate, really.

    Ralph’s interests are in the modern man with heritage in mind. I can’t help but enjoy the dedication he’s had over the years to dress America, whether it be the Chaps line at JC Penney’s or the higher end Black Label stuff; he wants to be accessible to every type of American.

    The RRL Line has been said to be a special line to him, so naturally it’s got a higher level of quality. So what if it’s made in China? Most everything is these days. I give him credit for bringing the Americana Vintage to the drawing board and churning out some really great clothing that some people can’t scour the earth to find at Flea Markets, etc.

    I’ve had a pair of RRL Jeans for about 5 years now and they’re truly the best denim investment I’ve ever made IMO.

  46. Read
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 10:32 AM

    The store looks awesome–but is it just me, or are a lot of men’s stores starting to look the same?

    The Liquor Store, Context, etc, and now Rhinelander Mansion.

    I like it, but I’d also like to see a little more originality. Men’s stores are awesome–creativity should abound.

    Anyone else agree?

  47. Paul Cunningham
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 11:59 AM

    @Read,

    Sincere question:
    Can you give any examples of Men’s stores that you consider original?

  48. Gary
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 12:38 PM

    Well, men’s fashion in general has never been too concerned with originality, but there’s a definite rustic vibe that has pretty much permeated everything for the last few years and I think it’s just going to get more pronounced. Good thing I really like a rustic vibe.

  49. sg
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 2:42 PM

    Believe it or not even at the prices they ask for their clothes and for the vintage items they sell at these shops they lose significant money on this line. RRL has never been profitable since it was introduced. All items are very limited production, extensive hand work and artisan made. That’s what you pay for. I think they produce some of the best sporting/workwear you can get.

  50. calabreezy
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 3:08 PM

    The analogy of RRL to Redwings as Yamaha is to Martin makes sense to me. Ralph Lauren makes a huge range of products, just like Yahama (guitars, drums, motorcycles, speakers, etc). Personally, I would rather support a company that makes one thing well, instead of one that produces a massive amounts of average and subpar shit.

  51. Peter
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 4:13 PM

    @Paul:
    Exactly.

    I’ll defend RL to the death — he’s not an imitator; if anything he’s a reinterpreter. It’s a pretty sophisticated aesthetic…just think of the audacity to put a polo player on a tennis shirt…now it’s a “polo” shirt (orig. polo shirt had buttons on collar so they wouldn’t flap)…thanks to him…

    He does “Americana” as an homage, and he’s always done it that way. His story is a quintessentially American one, so he has the right in my book to make “American” clothes.

  52. chuck
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 4:14 PM

    Ralph and RRL created the look and feel that you see in just about every store from Freeman’s to Steven Alan back in the 90′s long before the current Prince street location.

  53. Small Town Boy
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 4:42 PM

    Man, that’s a lot of comments! and for Ralph? hmph.
    I did buy a pair of RL white cords In Vegas back in March. Didn’t realize it until after i got ‘em back to the hotel room. But I admit, they are nice.

  54. Edubs01
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 5:15 PM

    Thoughts on the orange chinos?
    15th thumbnail pic

  55. GGG
    on Sep 9th, 2010
    @ 6:10 PM

    You all are forgetting one thing.
    Most, if not all the designers that are doing heritage now or prep, or Americana all got their start at Ralph Lauren. They learned the industry, sourcing of materials, and manufacturing from his company. I would imagine for most, it was also the first introduction to many of these aesthetics just because of what and who they were surrounded by. MW could probably come up with quite a list of who started at RL.
    RRL has been around since ’93 doing this aesthetic.
    I still have a brown covert cloth grand dad shirt from the first season when it was sold at Belk’s in Charlotte NC, before he pulled it and made it exclusive. I didn’t need a themed store to get the concept. I could tell, even in Belk’s, just by the fabrics and styles what they were trying to convey it was so perfectly done. Nothing was out there like it unless you went looking in vintage shops. I’m a muscular 6’3″, try finding vintage to fit, I will always make RRL my first stop when I visit NY.
    FSC and Context and liquor store are all imitating RRL. If nothing else he’s genius in who he hires. But I believe much of it all starts with his vision.

  56. Mario
    on Sep 10th, 2010
    @ 12:05 AM

    So what if FSC, Context, Liquor store etc are imitating RRL? What do you want them to do? Sit on their ass and have all the brands they carry just walk themselves to a customer’s doorstep. You made a good point that Ralphie is a genius and it’s his vision that gave life to this Americana vibe that everyone, douchebags included, are getting. But there will always be imitators.

  57. JLSLC
    on Sep 10th, 2010
    @ 12:58 AM

    @GGG Re: “Nothing was out there like it unless you went looking in vintage shops. ”

    So Ralph Lauren’s “innovation” was to rehash the ideas of others while everyone else was still spinning their wheels trying to come up with new ideas?

    Maybe RL is the reason that other brands are re-treading vintage ideas from their own back catalogs (as in back before Ralph Lauren was born in some cases). Good for him — that is a genuine marketing achievement. But lets save the credit for where it is due — for marketing.

  58. Kenyan
    on Sep 10th, 2010
    @ 10:54 AM

    POLO 4EVER….!

  59. K.A. Adams
    on Sep 10th, 2010
    @ 1:13 PM

    GGG et al

    RRL’s roots go back even farther than the early 90′s . A concept called Polo Country Store flourished in the 80′s but then collapsed amidst the financial turmoil of 1987.

    To your point I was just thinking the other day that the J Crew’s newer stores reminded me very much of the old Polo Country Stores. I’d wager that Andy Spade shared that reference

    It’s easy to both love and hate Polo but the power of Ralph’s accomplishment is undeniable

  60. Varsity Aesthetics
    on Sep 10th, 2010
    @ 1:26 PM

    This is looking like another comments hall of famer. This stuff looks awesome. End of story.

  61. kirby
    on Sep 10th, 2010
    @ 9:11 PM

    the haters are just a bunch of poor losers who can’t afford RRL. if you don’t like it don’t go to the store and don’t read the post. shit.

  62. Grant
    on Sep 10th, 2010
    @ 9:15 PM

    Nice American vintage inspired clothes, but with most of them being made in China it kinda ruins the whole idea.

  63. Grant
    on Sep 10th, 2010
    @ 9:17 PM

    I’d much rather wear flea market original vintage pieces that were union made in the USA.

  64. Andy
    on Sep 11th, 2010
    @ 11:04 AM

    I worked at 867 Madison for five years and still have the greatest respect for RL.

    What earns my respect is that everything I have owned from RL is still wearable, still fashionable, still intact. Their clothing does not destruct easily.

    In the years since I left RL, I’ve watched so many companies, large and small, pop up with ideas, with displays, with products, that I once sold 20 years ago.

    Even with their billionaire customers, billionaire profits and billionaire aspirations, you can still find the highest quality in RL’s clothing.

    I’m not kissing ass here. I don’t work in fashion anymore, nor do I live in NYC. I am merely speaking my mind and telling the truth.

    With their new store and product– they are once again achieving the highest levels.

  65. John B
    on Sep 13th, 2010
    @ 12:09 PM

    When it comes down to it, the dream of Ralph Lipshitz is a nouveau riche fraud of wanting to be in a club which would flat out reject him. And whether or not anything from this “inspired” (i.e., stolen) line is Made in China/Pakistan/India/Timbuktu is of no real importance, but to prop up a few items on a great blog such as this one showing Made in USA the red white and blue flying the flag, praising them, and not mentioning that other stuff is Made in WhoKnowsWhere is a bit of sleight of hand false advertising.

  66. Andrew Tyler
    on Sep 14th, 2010
    @ 2:50 AM

    I acknowledge that RRL does tend to exploit the fact that a few of their items are of US origin in an attempt to be recognized as an “all American” label per se.
    And yes, paying a premium price for pre-distressed items is a tad silly.
    That said, even the chinese made items (ie; the flannels, oxfords, chinos, leather jackets and even solid tees) absolutely crush most of the competition in terms of fabric, fit and construction.
    Not only is it no contest against J. Crew and like, but I believe they do it as good and oftentimes better than brands like WWM, EG, Eternal, Post O’alls, Iron Heart, Real McCoy, etc, etc, etc. If not in fabric and construction, then at least in fit. Their selvedge oxford is, in my humble opinion, the finest off the rack oxford BD shirt available anywhere at any price.
    I’m an athletic fit XS. Finding clothes that flatter me, let alone fit me can be quite a challenge at times. I often find myself taking garments that I’ve spent a fair chunk of change on to my tailor for darting, closing box pleats, slimming down, and sometimes complete overhauls.
    I’ve never had to alter a single RRL item, and I own quite a few items.
    They are, in a word, perfect.
    I’ll concede to the fact that they do over do it with the worn in look though.
    Also, I’d pay exponentially more for the product if they were to move all manufacturing to the US.
    I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

    Great post, and just in time for my birthday too.
    I know where I’m going and what I’m getting myself this year…

  67. Jason Normore
    on Sep 16th, 2010
    @ 3:44 PM

    All of that clothes look amazing! I would like to get my hands on one those vests and hats.

  68. JimBV
    on Sep 17th, 2010
    @ 5:20 PM

    Ralph Lauren. Honkey Acres. Enough of that. Can we have a post on what Daiki Suzuki is up to at Woolrich Mills?

  69. Jonathon
    on Sep 19th, 2010
    @ 3:11 AM

    Forgive my ignorance but what does RRL stand for ?

  70. Andrew Tyler
    on Sep 19th, 2010
    @ 12:29 PM

    @ JimBV
    After this current WWM collection (F/W 2010) Daiki Suzuki will no longer be the creative force behind WWM. Mark McNairy of J.Press, Bass Weejuns and, of course, Mark McNairy shoes fame will be taking over as chief designer of the project starting with the S/S 2011 collection. Whether this will prove to be a good or bad thing seems to be a highly divisive issue. I, for one, think he’s very much up to the task. Though, needless to say, the line will probably take at turn towards a more collegiate/prep theme.

    @ Jonathon
    RRL is the name of Ralph & Ricky Lauren’s Ridgeway Colorado ranch and the is named after them. The line itself is named after the ranch. Many have asserted that it stands for “Rodeo Ralph Lauren” due to the line’s western influence. This is however incorrect.
    RRL = Ricky & Ralph Lauren.