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FrontRunners: Fade To Black

William Kissel

After mastering english classicism with his Purple Label collection, Ralph Lauren (888.475.7674, www.polo.com) turns to a younger, hipper audience with this spring’s launch of Black Label for men. The new collection’s lightweight stretch wool and cotton suits borrow extensively from the slim-fitting jackets first introduced by Neapolitan tailors in the 1930s. The suits, as well as the collection’s form-fitting cotton shirts and narrow silk neckties, are priced at about 30 percent less than their Purple Label predecessors. Black Label’s launch coincides with the opening of Ralph Lauren’s European flagship store, which occupies a four-level, neoclassical palazzo on Milan’s via Montenapoleone.

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