Ralph Lauren Tweed Run Too Much?

Ralph Lauren-sponsored Tweed Run Makes second Outing in London this Year

We've watched the transition of the Tweed Run in London from the bumbling and well-meaning amateur event that was organised through a forum in 2009 to the much slicker corporate event of the second Tweed Run of 2011, which was sponsored by Ralph Lauren.

A few questions are raised. Should there be more than one run a year in London? Will too many dilute the attraction, like two Ascots or Wimbledons perhaps? And as bumbling and well-meaning amateurs ourselves, what charmed us about The Tweed Run was it's seemingly bumbling and well-meaning amateurishness. Does the sponsorship by Ralph Lauren and the way the event is now treated like a business change that? Or was that always the intention?

However, I think the most important question to ask is would we miss it if it was gone? And the answer is, of course, yes. Its charm and eccentric Englishness has spawned many imitations around the world. The ethos being espoused is one of gentility, politeness and the joy of taking part in a communal activity with nothing to gain. If only other events made these values priorities. We don't want just angry gatherings where badly dressed people shout and break things, do we?

And then there's the clothing. Who would argue against more tweed and sporting check on the streets? So if it takes a bit of sponsorship and business planning for it to continue, so be it. The Tweed Run is still the original and best. An long may it continue. No more than two a year though, eh?

Maybe The Tweed Pig should think about being a bit more business-like...?


  1. One of the biggest contributing factors that made me start to dress in a more "classical" way, was that I was tired of branded menswear and logo-obsessed multi national companies. One such company is Ralph Lauren who make a (profitable) living out of repackaging classical style and producing it in factories in the Far East. To give myself up to being a part of their advertising campaigns by participating in a sponsored run is unthinkable in my book.

  2. My complaint, for whatever it's worth, is that the founders seem to have sold out to Ralph Lauren, and the Run is now just a marketing gimmick to drive sales to his brands.

    Having said that, I wouldn't object nearly so much if the brand had been a traditional British one (particularly one like Gieves & Hawkes), but Ralph Lauren is a poseur who changed his surname from Lifshitz to Lauren and tries to pass himself off as the ultimate old-money WASP to a degree of ambition that would've made Jay Gatsby blush.

    This April, I flew halfway around the world to ride in the London Tweed Run, and had planned to do so again in 2012, but if it's just going to be a PR campaign for Ralph Lauren, I'll not waste my time.


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