Saturday, October 16, 2010

Debate: Rugby's "New Trad" And Sartorial Signifiers

Oh man, here's one the purists are probably going to want to tear apart.  Rugby is advertising a selection of their new F/W 2010 arrivals as "The New Trad".  Side note: can trad even be new?  While this particular marketing choice of a specific buzzword was obviously an opportune one considering the current popularity of such an aesthetic, I think it is a tad bit ill advised.  When Rugby says Trad they mean "dapper dishevelment" (their own words), not necessarily traditional menswear.  And I think many of us will agree that these two things are not necessarily synonymous.  A quick perusal of these new offerings easily confirms this.  It's nothing new in the grand scheme of Rugby's brand.  "Trad" isn't really present here at all.  Instead we see the nuevo-prep we're all used to at this point.  So scratch "The New Trad" and insert "The New Prep" because that's exactly what's going on.  Poor semantics?  Maybe.  But then again all that shit is subjective so maybe you feel differently.  Or maybe you're just pissed I used the word "trad" in a post.  Maybe you're pissed I used the word "prep" in a post.  Anyone who would like to discuss sartorial signifiers please direct yourself to the comments.


-L.A.S

8 comments:

  1. I recently received an email advertising a fall sale for Rugby. When I went to the website, the first thing that I saw was the picture in your post. I immediately closed the browser. I'm not really one to get caught up in debates over "authenticity," but this is pretty shameless, even by Ralph Lauren standards. The entire thing has become a caricature of itself. Stunts like this make J.Crew seem like a heritage brand, frankly. I'm getting very tired of RL taking something (usually a polo uniform or something relating to crew or cricket) and trying to turn it into sports wear. No "trad" would ever be caught wearing their sports blazer around town as though it were a suiting option or thinking it was a proper dinner jacket. Rugby is the new Abercrombie and Fitch.

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  2. Fuck who cares if it's "trad" or "prep", the more important factor here is that you're blogging on the weekend again. This is definitely a step in the right direction.

    We're all anticipating the return of WIWTW, as well.

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  3. THATS WHAT THE JACKET WAS? RUGBY HAS A MORE TAKE IVY FEEL TO ME THEN JCREW, WHICH IS BECOMING MORE...WILDERNESS I SHOULD SAY.

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  4. Rugby is whack and will always be whack.

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  5. The Striking FellowOctober 17, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    @Dave Miller

    Thank you, yes, my thoughts exactly. This is a definite lead-in for the continuation of WIWTW. I would even propose WIWTW 2.0. Guests posts for WIWTW.

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  6. I'm not a general Ralph Lauren hater, but Rugby seams to be a whole other animal. Of course they would hop on some nadwagon that is only the word without the real meaning beind it... its what they do.
    What do you expect from a company that sued USA Rugby over use of the word rugby? Yes, USA Rugby as in the governing body of the actual sport, not some wanna be clothes retailer. Who has the gaul to sue the sport and lifestyle that you are in fact trying to immitate?

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  7. Trad or not trad, why cut off the nose to spite the face? As a believer in democratization of traditional clothing, I'm thrilled to see any major brand pushing duffle coats, leather patch sweaters, and repp ties--particularly if it entices the cargo short crowd. True, some of the outfits in Rugby's campaigns can be a bit out there, and true, this is not actually "trad", but the brand's actual product is generally pretty fresh.

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  8. I'm not one to read a brand's mission statement. I let the clothes speak for themselves. I get the feelig the people at RL are still figuring out what Rugby is. They have some great looks, and others like the madras tuxedo shirt from S/S or the one pictured above are completely over the top. Still, they've come a long way from the oversize skulls days.

    FYI: "dapper dishevelment" is pretty much the definition fo sprezz.

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