In celebration of Ralph Lauren’s Fall19 show today – an elegant, croissant-sharing exercise for NYC’s fashion elite – and to mark Jennifer Aniston’s 50th birthday on Monday, we are revisiting a poignant scene from Friends.
The year was 1999 and Rachel Green (Aniston) had just landed a huge role at Ralph Lauren’s company. (How exactly she was a waitress with no qualifications and suddenly a top-tier fashion expert with her own office is as confusing as trying to remember what exactly Chandler Bing did for a living. Or why Monica’s NYC apartment was so spacious – and purple.)
In an effort to get her boss to like her, Rachel lies about kissing the American designer in the copy room. Lauren makes a cameo in the now-famous scene. Take a look:
What’s interesting is the brand’s purposeful alignment with popular culture back then in a quest to lure the youth market. If the iconic and all-American Rachel Green wore the iconic and all-American label, surely the masses would flock in the same way they did to the hairdressers with magazine clippings of ‘the Rachel do’. Yes, before Instagram and before social media, Jennifer Aniston moved product. And Ralph Lauren’s appeal to a young, mass audience was as direct as fellow all-American stalwart’s Tommy Hilfiger’s social strategy today.