September 12, 2023

A Love Letter to RRL - Double RL

RRL – an homage to American west and early 1900's workwear

Ralph Lauren’s love letter to the west. Created in 1993, RRL (pronounced Double RL) was inspired by Americana, family values and working the land. The garments are interpretations of classic workwear silhouettes worn by frontiersmen, and cowboys alike. There’s a romanticism about the west. We see open plains, rocky mountains, flowing rivers and the promise of freedom. Its humble existence communicated through the fabrics, styling and textures.

The brand makes no money for RL – but that’s okay. Unlike primary revenue drivers for the publicly traded company (NYSE: RL), RRL exists as a creative outlet for Ralph Lauren’s vision of what America is.

“I have always loved clothes that were designed for a purpose...They have a timeless quality to them, which to me is very American.” –Ralph Lauren

Product + Textile

Looking into the product catalogue, there’s a strong focus on workwear classics. We see various iterations of selvedge denim, Western shirts with sawtooth pockets, and even traditional chore coats. Here, we see craftsmanship and pattern making executed to the highest degree for a brand with international manufacture partners. While RRL doesn’t push boundaries of modern fashion, it represents a beautiful space where classic styling and heritage are more important than contemporary cuts. It’s about preserving history, one garment at a time.

But where RRL excels beyond the daily wear items is in their commitment to old-world tailoring. The attention to detail and archival reference is astounding. RRL is creating suits that make you feel like an oil Barron, or John Dutton from Yellowstone. Fabrics range from traditional wool, tweed, denim, herringbone cotton, silk-linen blends, or my favourite - houndstooth.

Textiles are an amazing way to tell stories. RRL does a fantastic job at creating a world for every collection produced. Whether patterns are a direct reference to Santa Fe with their beautiful jacquard Indian weaves, or reference to 1800s railway workers with Wabash print denim. These geographic locations that Ralph references always centre around American industrial expansion, and ornate decorative pieces by Native Americans while giving a larger vision to the RRL world being created.

Wabash. The process of creating patterns and prints on a fabric base that is dyed in Indigo.


Through commitment to heritage, historical reference and pattern making, RRL is an important addition to American menswear and style. Often overlooked due to its strong aesthetic choice, or simply for the fact it’s very hard to find… anywhere. I think more people should be aware of a masterclass in Americana, that is Double RL.