"A Tale of Two Seasons . . . "


A Tale of Two Seasons

Picture it.  Late Fall 1988.  San Jose, California.  A young man from Mississippi is enjoying his first few months of working for Ralph Lauren.  Learning more every day.  

Spending day upon day learning about fabrics.  And design inspirations.  And advertising.  And fashion.

Each afternoon, the UPS driver would deliver boxes and boxes of new merchandise.  And he would almost giggle with delight upon opening each and every one.

It was Fall, so the boxes would be filled with his favourite things.  Heavy hand-knit ski sweaters.  Thick wool tweed trousers.   And beautiful plaid sport coats.

 But, one day he noticed that the boxes contained men's cream linen shorts.  And silk sport shirts.  And ties with pictures of palm trees on them.  He was very confused.  
"Why would we sell these clothes in November?"

The store manager took him aside and tried to explain the reasoning behind such odd things.  He said, "Many people go to warm climates to celebrate the holidays.  And we must have clothing to them as well."   "Cruise" and "Holiday" are the same season.

The young man from Mississippi had never HEARD of such things.  The holidays are about snow and cold weather.   

So for the next few weeks, the young man from Mississippi sold many ski sweaters.  But, also linen pants - for the mysterious people who spent their holidays in warm climates.

And by the way, this entire missive has been written whilst in the mid-west.  In 20 degree temperatures.  And wearing heavy ski sweaters and warm wool pants.  


images of Ralph Lauren's home in Jamaica.  From Architectural Digest.


How lovely -- "Cruise" and "Resort" have always struck me as such exotic and sexy denominations for that limbo betwixt Christmas and New Years.
We hit up the Cayman Islands a couple times when I was a kiddo -- it was a glorious break from the snow.
Cheers, Alcira

Linda in AZ * said…
* Scot~ Was born n' bred in So CAL.. as kids/young adults, we got surfboards, water skiis, skateboards , roller skates and maintained our great tans during the holidays...

Then I married, and we enjoyed SOOO MANY Christmas holidays all over (mostly in Europe, snow skiing).... So, for YEEEARS, it was all about snow skiing, trips, ski equipment n' clothes, etc. (even built a small ski house when in America, in Park City, which I A*D*O*R*E*D!).

And NOW??? It's all about golf, in warmer weather climates (one thing about getting "older"... "toooo much COLD WEATHER just plain ol' hurts these bones", dang it all!)~~~ But yep, life's pretty good, me thinketh! (We're ALLLLL very blessed, aren't we???)...

LOVED your story... super great reading and, of course, pics "to-die-for"!!!

Many thanks & 2011 warm wishes in
the New Year...

Linda in AZ *
Spockgirl said…
"Each afternoon, the UPS driver would deliver boxes and boxes of new merchandise. And he would almost giggle with delight upon opening each and every one."
I'm smiling just thinking about how much fun that would have been.
Mrs. Blandings said…
So glad part of it was here. It will be 50 tomorrow - not quite linen weather, but still.
@Mrs. B. - And we've got about 3 inches of snow on the ground up here! brrrrrrr . . . .
Mark Newman said…
Love it, Scot! I thought the same thing my first winter at RL..."cruise wear, really"? And now I need linen pants. :-)
quintessence said…
Beautiful photos but holiday for me will always mean ski sweaters and hopefully some white stuff on the ground - now by February - ask me again!
I always spent the winters skiing so it was new to me too! Love the story of you opening the boxes, sounds delightful! Happy New Year Scot.
Loved reading this, Scot! I could almost see your excitement as a young designer! Learning and LOVING it all! I wish you a year of happiness and good designs in 2011!!! XO,. Pinky
I'm with you, Scot. Ski sweaters, burberry scarves and ugg boots are my favorite holiday gear and it served me well in the 4 degree temps at Big Sky Montana last week. Should a temperature be just one syllable? Fun post!
Karena said…
I have always adored the idea of shopping for Cruisewear, whether I was going anywhere wonderful or not!!

Art by Karena
Vickie H. said…
Oh Scot! How I love you and this blog and your wonderful posts. Always keeping it real, even in the rarified air of RL-NYC!!! Every single day must have seemed like a brand new adventure! Thank you for sharing your memories and the beautiful pictures. Happy New Year to you, and may God bless and keep you always!
Rebecca said…
Well I just stumbled upon your blog through Kristin Mullen, viva! You are now in my favorites listings!

One of the very first items of clothing I recall wearing is a tartan plaid skirt. At that time an aunt and uncle were students at U of I. They gave me the skirt as a gift. The U of I had the Scottish Highlanders as part of their marching band. I recall seeing them perform in the 70's.


My plaid was a dark green not the one the highlanders wore.

I have always loved tartan plaids but I only dream of using it in the cabin in the woods of my dreams. Pictures of the plaid draw me in and comfort me. When looking at your older post I came upon the picture of tartan plaid and scones, it was then that I knew your blog will be a forever favorite.

I think we should be friends!
Oh Scot, How I remember my first Cruise season at Ralph Lauren...What did it all mean? Just who was going on a cruise anyhow? And we also had no snow!
California is a strange place.
Stitchfork said…
I'd take the winter white scene for the holidays hands down!
Happy New Year Scot!

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