The global menswear market had total revenues of $423.2 billion in 2013, according to a recent report, and it is expected to get all the way up to $571.8 billion by the end of 2018. But at least one menswear brand would like to capitalize on its popularity by investing in a much more volatile source of revenue: The restaurant business.
Ralph Lauren, which already operates branded eateries in Paris (where Kanye West celebrated Thanksgiving last month) and Chicago, is about to open his first restaurant in New York City, the New York Times reports. The 178-seat Polo Bar is just steps away from the designer’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue.
“I’m about longevity, I’m about timeless,” Lauren told the NYT as he drank—what else?—his own brand of coffee. “It was not my idea to be trendy. I don’t want to be the hot restaurant. I want to be the restaurant you want to go to twice a week.”[more]
That coffee can be found, by the way, in his flagship Polo store café, Ralph’s, which serves up muffins, parfaits, sandwiches, and green juices to New Yorkers supplied by Liquiteria, according to Racked.com.
Lauren got into the restaurant business, the NYT notes, because he was once hungry for a burger in Paris and couldn’t seem to find one. Thus, the idea for Ralph’s was born.
“I think a lot of food today is unnecessarily creative,” Simon Doonan, author and creative ambassador at large for Barneys New York, told the NYT. “Every time you go out to eat, it’s like a Jacques Tati movie or a Saturday Night Live sketch.”
Lauren’s restaurants, in contrast, offer “a meal you might get if you walked into an episode of Mad Men,” as Doonan put it.