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Ralph Lauren in luxury push

Ralph Lauren is launching its luxury menswear lines Purple Label and Black Label at wholesale after showcasing them on the Paris menswear catwalks last week.

The US designer brand’s luxury lines have so far only been available in its company-owned stores, but Ralph Lauren is hoping to wholesale the ranges into as many as 20 key upmarket accounts in the UK for spring 09.

It is already in talks with Harrods and Selfridges about opening shop-in-shops for Purple and Black in the department stores’ menswear areas.

Black Label, which is in its third year, has doubled in size against the current spring collection, taking the number of SKUs in the collection to 600. It has also introduced more sportswear and casual styles which feature technical influences but retain the traditional sharp silhouette of the range.

Suiting, which is more contemporary than the core Polo Ralph Lauren tailoring, will retail for €1,300 (£1,032) and wholesale for €570 (£450). Polo Ralph Lauren suiting retails for about €900 (£715).

“We see Black Label sitting alongside Dior, Gucci and Dolce & Gabanna,” said Ralph Lauren’s senior vice president for marketing and communications and general manager for luxury menswear Fabio Mancone.

“Purple Label, the brand’s super-luxury line, is aimed at a more classic customer and features all Italian-made luxury fabrics, sitting alongside the likes of Brioni and Tom Ford on the formal side and Loro Piana on the casualwear side. A suit retails at about €2,600 (£2,064) and wholesales for up to €1,390 (£1,100).”

Mancone added: “We’ve had great success with the women’s luxury line and so we wanted to push menswear, which has been doing well in our stores. We want a few good accounts because we need the brand to be presented in the right way.”

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