“What I believe in is the timelessness of an attitude, the timelessness of style.” – Ralph Lauren
Being accepted onto the Ralph Lauren International Creative Internship Program was a prestigious honour.
Ralph Lauren is a world-class, global fashion manufacturing and lifestyle brand, with the U.S. headquarters on Madison Avenue, New York. I was assigned to the Concept Design, Women’s Polo department, which granted me significant exposure and knowledge of the design process including developing and merchandising a seasonal line, flat sketch development, fabric development, fit process, and many other aspects of the design life cycle.
Working closely with senior designers, the VP and Creative Director of Women’s Polo, I assisted in researching and developing creative concepts for the Polo brand staying true to the epitome of classic and iconic American style with a modern twist. Polo’s signature aesthetic includes the world-renowned polo player logo.
My Role within the company involved:
- Researching Inspirational Editorials for the rig wall
- Styling inspirational outfits for the showroom and rig room
- Designing Mood-boards
- Re-searching fashion influencers
- Compiling In-Design Documents
- Image researching
- Using the RL Archive to pull rare and historical pieces
- Arranging inspirational scenes for presentation to Ralph Lauren
- Researching and buying vintage and current fashion pieces for inspiration
- Presenting ideas and concepts for new seasonal collections
- Fashion sketching to envision ideas
- Brainstroming ideas for POLO App
- Marketing collaborations with charities for the brand
- Working on an Intern project to present to the board of directors
- Merchandising the Show Room for summer 2020
- Assisting in the official Line Review of Spring & Summer 2020
- Trend Analysis & Forecasting
- Scouting and selecting models for the Polo Campaign shoots
My team included the Senior Designer for Concept Design in Woman’s Polo, Associate Designer for Woman’s Polo, Vice President of Women’s Polo & Creative Director of Polo Women’s at Ralph Lauren.
The brand takes on historic inspiration with an escapist classicism which combines all the potential for glamour that America’s cultural heritage has to offer, drawing from the iconic style of Gary Cooper to the androgynous nonchalance of Katharine Hepburn.
As a concept designer it is crucial to understand the brand narrative and be able to accurately source garments and visuals which serves to create an inspiring story; extremely specific models, fabrics and accessories are essential, as every detail holds a significant role in dictating the design of next season’s collection.
I was trained to understand concept design in fashion as anatomizing how lifestyle can be commodified into garments; today’s vital, indispensable language of identity. My role at Ralph Lauren initiated my inquiry into societal aspiration and the mechanics of a fashion system which relies on aspiration.
My final year dissertation focuses on the efficacy of curating a dreamworld of life-styling and honing the art of fashion concept design, accounting for every detail and it’s power of influence, on conveying the ‘story’ which would ultimately sell the garment.