For Ralph Lauren, it’s all about the mix, said Stephen Earle, senior vice president of home collection design, Ralph Lauren Home. “You can’t tell a story with one thing.”
And now the brand has a comprehensive collection of rugs, having launched lines for both Ralph Lauren Home and Lauren Ralph Lauren Home with Safavieh in January.
“It was one piece of the puzzle that hadn’t been completed,” Earle said in Safavieh’s showroom in Atlanta’s AmericasMart for the launch. The Ralph Lauren consumer is very loyal, he added. “People don’t accidentally buy the brand. There’s already a customer out there ready for these things.”
Design styles are varied — from menswear to American Indian to traditional soumaks to Art Deco to pony skin — but it all comes together within the collection, as they are grouped together by the stories already created by the Ralph Lauren brand, said Earle. “Ralph Lauren is a great brand because it all weaves together.”
While some designs are bold and attention-getting, others are more subtle. “Not everything you wear is a loud print,” said Earle. “Some things need to be quieter.”
“The Ralph Lauren rugs are different from our other designers because they’re more traditional, while our other designers are more contemporary,” said Arash Yaraghi, principal, Safavieh. The new lines will have the classic and high-quality feel people expect, he added.
At January’s Atlanta International Area Rug Market, 25 patterns debuted under the Ralph Lauren Home brand. Most were hand-knotted styles, but also included hand-hooked, flatweaves and leather patchwork designs. The initial Lauren Ralph Lauren group contains 15 patterns, including hand-knotted, flatweave, sisal weave, hand-tufted, hand-loomed and power-loomed constructions.
When Ralph Lauren is designing, “he never says, I want a Persian rug,” Earle said. Instead, Lauren describes a “world,” such as a girl in a car, or a house on a cliff in the moonlight. “We have so many more ideas…We would have done 300 rugs for the launch if we could.”–Andrea Lillo