Reference: Ralph Lauren
I believe the best clothes get better with age. My problem with many brands (specifically athletic brands like Nike, Adidas, etc.) is that their slick, brightly colored products look amazing on the shelf at the store but after two weeks of regular wear, the bright colors become dingy, the plastics get wrinkly and the thin materials lose their shape. They were not made to last. To me, a good product is designed to improve with continued wear.
I find peace and beauty in natural and weathered textures. For this reason, I favor materials like leather, wool, tweed, waxed cotton, linen and denim. I like to wear materials that I can live in, play with my dog in and get down on my knees to take a photo in. My favorite pieces are faded, muddy and carry a story.
As I begin to develop my design language, I need to understand how to communicate these values. I believe Ralph Lauren has done this incredibly effectively. Over the past few years, I have collected some Ralph Lauren pieces that give me the feeling that I am looking for. To further understand why I relate to Ralph's design language, I have paired images of my favorite jackets with photography of textures that align with the "Prairie" theme I will be exploring for my first collection.
What can I learn from these pieces? How can I develop progressive designs that are functional, comfortable, expressive and possess a storied, natural beauty?