Highsnobiety

Ever since it arrived in London, Ralph Lauren has been a staple of the city’s style. In 1981 the brand opened a store on New Bond Street—the first independent space set up by an American designer in Europe—and in the four decades that have followed, its preppy, Polo signature has been embraced by streetwear scenes and country club types alike. Shot in collaboration with Highsnobiety, the following images explore the influence of Ralph Lauren across the pond, with pieces worn by three of London’s next-gen voices in menswear.

Ralph Lauren / Leon Mark, Ralph Lauren / Leon Mark

“Ralph Lauren has just always been in my life:” Wilfred Cisse, a musician and fashion enthusiast, grew up in close proximity to the brand. “My uncle, my mom, any adult in my life has always had the Polos.” But it was his brother, and his impressive collection of striped vintage pieces, that got him properly hooked. “He’d always mix [Ralph Lauren] with other things,” Cisse remembers, “and somehow it just worked. Then when it came to my turn, it worked for me too.”

Trends come and go, but Lauren’s namesake brand and its often vintage, preppy look has endured remarkably. Take it from Eddie Wailes, a stylist and shop owner whose ‘70s style and vintage expertise have amassed him a significant online following. Getting into fashion at age 15 via the BMX culture in his hometown, these days Wailes is drawn to all things timeless and expressive, with a little British stiffness thrown in. Penny loafers, max trench coats, and slim-fit jackets are his bread and butter.

Ralph Lauren / Leon Mark, Ralph Lauren / Leon Mark

For Wailes, “menswear means feeling comfortable in what you’re wearing;” it’s more than the clothes themselves. Reuben Larkin—model, online personality, and the last (but not least) star of the shoot—agrees. “Menswear,” he says, “is what you make of it.” It’s this type of expansive thinking that’s always set London apart. Right now the city is home to a new and exciting generation of menswear designers, from the sleek sportiness of Martine Rose or Grace Wales Bonner to the raucous, ravey tailoring of Jordan Luca.

Larkin is no stranger to that scene, hopping between fashion week shows and high-profile events. But with his high-neck sweaters and 1920s-inspired suiting, he’s one for heritage over newness. “Ralph Lauren has always been known for their suits,” he reflects, “and it’s nice to see them sticking to the classic British menswear look.”

Ralph Lauren / Leon Mark, Ralph Lauren / Leon Mark

So, how would this London lot go about styling their Polo? For Larkin, it’s all about double-breasting—buttoned up, of course (and double pleats on the trouser too, if you’re lucky). Cisse, meanwhile, goes from the bottom up: “Just focus on the shoes,” he says. “If the shoes look good, everything else will just make sense somehow.” Wailes’ take is similar, but he starts with the trouser, not the shoe. However you wear it, though, you can do it with confidence: backed by the heritage that the Ralph Lauren badge bears with it both in London and beyond, you can’t go far wrong.

Shop Ralph Lauren's menswear here.

  • Creative ProducerJerome Glock
  • Creative DirectorOlivia Wigley
  • Video Director/DOPMartin Senyszak
  • PhotographerLeon Mark
  • Talent ManagerAmanda Najem
  • Talent Wilfred Cisse, Reuben Larkin, Eddie Wailes
  • StylistSam Ranger
  • Make-UpTasnim Nahar
  • HairShamirah Sairally
We Recommend
  • Fashion Week Digest: Deep Vs in Milan, a Belt Boom in Paris
    • Style
    • sponsored
  • A Ralph Lauren Alum Might Replace Hedi Slimane at CELINE — Here's Why It Makes Sense
    • Style
  • For Fall 2024, We Were Called to Ralph Lauren's Office
    • Style
  • An American Odyssey: The Advertisements of Ralph Lauren
    • Culture
  • Beyond Ralph Lauren: Redeeming the Polo's Potential
    • Style
  • We Want More Ralph Lauren
    • Style
What To Read Next
  • Fashion's Game of Musical Chairs Heats Up
    • Style
  • Nike's Olympic Basketball Sneaker Is an Instant Collector's Item
    • Sneakers
  • PUMA’s Gloriously Fuzzy Sneaker Is a Work of Art (Literally)
    • Sneakers
  • Kith and Team USA Are The True Dream Team
    • Style
  • Luxury Jewelry’s New Big Three: David Yurman Taps NBA Style Savants For Its Latest Campaign
    • Style
    • sponsored
  • Mizuno's Hand-Dyed Sneaker Is a Feat of Japanese Craftsmanship
    • Sneakers