Ralph Lauren Invites Everyone to Return to (His) Office

Having mixed feelings about return to office? Not sure what to wear? Ralph Lauren has a solution for that.

On Monday night paparazzi were camped out in front of the nondescript glass-door building at Madison Avenue and 58th Street where Mr. Lauren has his storied headquarters, there to record the arrivals of Jessica Chastain, Kerry Washington and Glenn Close, among others. The reason: Mr. Lauren’s latest … well, not show, exactly. More like episode in the long-running series he has been directing called “This Is My Life.”

For the last few years (even before Covid), Mr. Lauren has been framing his collections as glimpses into his private world. There was, for example, the 2017 show held in the garage in Bedford, N.Y., where he keeps his collection of rare cars, including a 1938 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic once valued at $40 million. After the pandemic lockdowns had lifted, there was the show held in a room that had been conceived as a doppelgänger of his own Fifth Avenue living room, down to the bowls of multicolored M&Ms and the faux view over Central Park. There was the last show, which recreated his ranch in Colorado, including the wood beams and active fireplaces.

And now he was throwing open the doors of his mahogany-paneled, art-bedecked place of work, the better to display his fall women’s wear line.

Ralph Lauren presented his collection in his corporate headquarters in Manhattan.Credit…Charles Sykes/Invision, via Associated Press

It’s both an incredibly generous act and a deeply narcissistic one. Not to mention a meta-narrative about a designer who dreamed of mythic worlds — the pioneer West, the Stork Club, the Morgan manse — and created the clothes for them, and then those clothes sold so well that he could actually build the dream worlds for himself and invite everyone in. The promise implicit in the experience being, of course, that if you buy the outfits, the rest may follow. Goals!

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