Talk about a cheeseburger in paradise: Ralph Lauren unexpectedly decided to host a biker-themed shindig at his Double RL store in Paris. Attended by only the chicest motorcyclists in Paris, the event was a casual mess of Sam Adams beer, cheeseburgers, and an unprecedented number of denim-clad guests. The Boulevard Saint Germain store has likely never seen so many bikers at the store at one time.
The "RRL Riders Tour", as the affair was called, invited guests to peruse antique gas station curios and visit 200 of the world's most tricked-out bikes. If such activities weren't enticing enough, attendees could choose to take a miniature 61.5 mile motorbike ride, courtesy of Mr. Lauren. Upon arriving back at the store, guests indulged in the casual fare and listened to the country tunes of singer Fiona Culley.
Perhaps due to some combination of Ralph Lauren's quintessentially preppy vibe, and the stars-and-stripes emblazoned Olympic Opening Ceremony sweaters, I was more than slightly astonished at the Lauren's relaxed soiree. After all, this is a designer whose storied Madison Avenue boutique is housed in the grandiose limestone Rhinelander Mansion, and whose recent collections look as though they belong on the characters of The Great Gatsby. However, Lauren's obsession with a good pair of worn-in jeans is a well-documented fact, and the designer has flirted with biker style before, thanks to his 1950s childhood spent in the Bronx. Whatever the reasoning behind Lauren's sudden renewal of interest in the biker scene, it seems that the designer will go about it in his signature, sophisticated manner.