The Wall Street Journal, 3/5/2016. Ralph Lauren ad, page A5.
In this ad, the model identified as Andrew Lauren, son of Ralph Lauren, is shown sitting on a single-speed, coaster-brake bicycle with a wooden handlebar, but no fenders. I know bicycles, and this is the bespoke type that costs in the thousands, but I would prefer a much cheaper multi-speed Schwin with fenders and a steel handlebar. If he rides through a puddle, a narrow, muddy stripe will instantly appear up the back of that new suit. I know from experience.
In the photo, part of the front wheel is cut off, I suspect because it is clamped to some sort of makeshift stand while Andy gets his picture taken. (If he was actually riding, and riding properly, the ball of his foot would be on the pedal, not his arch.) Andrew is identified as a filmmaker, which I suppose technically he is. Mostly, he is Ralph’s son.
But all of this is beside the point. He is just trying to make something meaningful out of the privileged life he was born into, at least until Daddy dies, and I wish him good luck with that. He does have a great tan.
What I noticed, and want to comment on, is that he is shown wearing a snazzy pin-striped Wall Street suit and tie, but clearly sockless in brown loafers. What’s with that look? Why so ultra-conservative from the ankles up (although the suit and tie are dark brown, not blue), yet still projecting an image of a laid-back guy grilling burgers in his back yard in loafers with no socks? He can’t have it both ways, and I have never seen anything like it in my world. But then, I don’t have a Wall Street office.
(From other photos in other ads, the sullen, androgynous look is also in. Just look at this recreation 0f the decadence of 1920s Berlin from an ad by an Italian fashion house. Ah, those good old days, when men ruled, although I suspect of the two Asians in the front, the one on the left is a female gender-bender—check the hands— but who can tell for sure? . . . and if you can’t tell, who cares what they are? I kid you not.)