Tuesday, 14 February 2012


Going to start this blog on an influential note!

Brian Duffy - Dailyrecord.co.uk
Last week I met the President and Chief Operator for Polo Ralph Lauren Europe, Brian Duffy. He was born in Glasgow so my University managed to arrange to put on a masterclass. He is big time in business but in 2003 joined these skills with Fashion and was headhunted by Ralph Lauren after previously working for Wonderbra and Pretty Polly. IMAGINE being headhunted for such a hugely renowned worldwide company!!! He came in and told us about his career, his roles and responsibilities and a little about the Ralph Lauren brand. You know someone’s made it when they can refer to people like Ralph Lauren by their first name ‘Ralph says..’ He established that Polo Ralph Lauren is not necessarily a fashion brand, but a lifestyle brand. It portrays a certain lifestyle that people want to achieve – ‘we were the innovators of lifestyle advertisments that tell a story and the first to create stores that encourage customers to participate in that lifestyle.’ Ralph Lauren – it wasn’t a matter of being in fashion, but attracting people to a luxury culture they would continually indulge in. Ralph Lauren has created a very strong brand, which although doesn’t differ much from season to season, it undoubtedly never gets boring.
Brian Duffy said he wasn’t the most fashion conscious man, although he did look quite dapper in his brogues, jeans, white crisp shirt, suit jacket and waistcoat, topped off by a blue silk pocket square, working in the industry for so long has obviously had some effect on him. He is more of a business man, looks at the fashion world logically rather than creatively. When trends come back onto the catwalk, he doesn’t see this as an inventive move from designers, but as logic. When styles repeat themselves years down the line, this isn’t a coincidence, which is a very business-y way to think. I like to think fashion is both a clever logic and an inspired development by designers. For a man from Glasgow, who dropped out of school at a very young age to go on to achieve worldwide success is extremely inspiring, definetly felt a boost of motivation from this very short but beneficial presentation.
Im going to leave this post with a line of thought, something Brian Duffy said that reflects ‘Ralph’s’ work - ‘I didn’t want to be in fashion cause if I was, I could also be out of fashion.’ Genius.


(Surprised how much I remembered of this talk, as I was only just live and kicking after minimal sleep and no notebook to take notes.. I definetly underestimated myself.)

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