When we heard that Ralph Lauren was taking over the former longtime Replay store at 109 Prince Street. He must have had some spectacular new store concept for the landmarked building. Perhaps he would split his SoHo locations into separate Men's and Women's stores as he had on Madison Avenue, or maybe he had yet another exciting ub-label to introduce.
Of course, his real plans were far simpler: to move his West Broadway boutique to a larger, grander space. As the new store quietly opened over the weekend, the West Broadway shop, which, frankly, had always seemed somewhat cramped and awkward after it was converted from a Polo Sport store to a regular boutique, shut its doors. Whether Ralph is planning to convert it to something else (it might be nice to see a RRL store that holds more than 3 people at a time, for example), or sublease it to someone else entirely remains to be seen, but the move has resulted in a vastly improved SoHo store for him.
The street level retains the building's original pressed tin ceiling as well as classic SoHo exposed ducts and pipes overhead, but adds the expected Ralph Lauren flourishes to house the women's Blue, Black and Purple Label collections. Downstairs, the top Men's labels are arrayed in a larger more sprawling environment including special sections for RLX activewear, RRL and a special counter to order personalized Polo knit shirts.. Of course, this store can't approach the grandeur of Ralph's pair of new and old Madison Avenue mansions. The cast-iron building, like others of its kind in Soho, was originally built for commercial purposes, not gracious living, but Ralph's prodigious retail team has condensed the concepts of the uptown stores into edited versions that fit well into the new site.
Between the new boutique, and an expanding Apple Store across the street, the corner of Prince and Greene streets is now something of a new power corner in SoHo.
Watch the tourists converge.
Ralph Lauren 109 Prince Street at Greene Street, SoHo