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The anthropology of dresses: Clothing industry analysis

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  1. Introduction
  2. What makes stores successful
    1. The role of the locations
    2. Uppers, rails and displays
  3. The over all layout of the Rugby Ralph Lauren stores
  4. The role of sales associates and managers
    1. The hiring process of sales associates
  5. The role of the dress in Rugby Ralph Lauren
    1. The image of uniformity and uniqueness
    2. The establishment of the dress as the norm
  6. Following the tradition of Kropotkin
  7. Conclusion

Rugby Ralph Lauren, the newest division of Ralph Lauren Clothing, was established in October of 2004. At just four years old, the branch boasts ten locations across the United States. The oldest of these stores is located on Newbury Street in Boston while the New York City location pulls in over fifty percent of the brand's profits. Within the last year, Rugby has launched a website featuring select fashion pieces in accordance with each major line for audiences to view, along with features such as ?Style Guide? complete with videos and step by steps tips for keeping ?crisp and neat?. Keeping in line with the boutique-like atmosphere established in store locations, while audiences are able to view select pieces from the line on the website, they are available through in-store purchases only, securing the exclusivity of the brand.

[...] Due to the historical context of Ralph Lauren as a company, the key items which are sold in stores across the world have come to serve as important cultural signifiers. Dick Hebdige further explores these concepts of cultural signifiers in his book, Subculture: The Meaning of Style (1979). While Hebdige describes cultural signifiers in regard to subcultures, Rugby Ralph Lauren has developed itself as the measure of normality and therefore the status quo. The clothing that is sold has been defined as the clothing to dress middle to upper class, white America. [...]


[...] Finally, displays are the most intricate of all presentations, except for the windows. Displays are featured in select glass compartments of vintage wooden tables which are also utilized as latrines for folding. They are also in conjunction with the over-all lifestyle of the room and line and can be considered more intricate versions of select uppers. As they are held behind glass compartments, usually fastened securely with lock and key, displays involve high-end pieces of merchandise and incorporate many of the vintage pieces, such as records and sports memorabilia, which are available from the store's creative corner in the stock-room. [...]


[...] The second interview group is significantly smaller than the first group, usually consisting of only two to five people. Finally, if interviewees are still deemed passable, they go through an individual interview which is guided by the general manager of the select store location as well as the district manager. If both the general manager and the district manager agree on the pass ability of the interviewee, the interviewee then fills out a series of forms which gauge their morals and ideals through a series of true/false and multiple choice questions. [...]

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