Last night, Ralph Lauren hosted the opening of the first RLX Golf shop on the top floor of his flagship store at 867 Madison Avenue, and celebrated the achievements of the world’s number one golfer, Luke Donald.
The design scheme for the new store, despite being jam-packed with partygoers, could be appreciated for its stark contrast from the rest of the store (sleek, contemporary black-and-white of a Manhattan penthouse, compared to the calm elegance of a town house in Connecticut).
Champagne in hand (we like to keep it classy, even though the official drinks of the night were from the full label-rainbow of Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky), The Observer approached Mr. Donald, who, for the first part of the evening seemed to be wearing Mr. Lauren’s arm around his shoulder as an accessory. Mr. Donald had just arrived from Chicago for a fundraiser for The First Tee, a charity that aims to mentor young people through golf. Mr. Donald, in his British accent, told us exactly why he supports the charity. “When I was a kid, I was given some opportunities at a young age to play a course when I was younger than what was really allowed. I was very fortunate with that.” Mr. Donald and Mr. Lauren both stood in front of a limited edition shirt, which was on sale at the event with all proceeds going to The First Tee.
As we sought some temporary relief from the crowded room, Mr. Donald could be seen loosening the collar on his three-piece suit, trying to cool down before he begrudgingly buttoned back up.
While browsing through some suits, we were approached by Tom Kallish, founder of Tommie Copper, a clothing line to help those with arthritis, who called over his friend, GQ publisher Peter Hunsinger. Mr. Kallish, as he chose a tan suit from the racks, told us, “Might as well double-up and shop while I am here.”
There was no escape from the heat, except on the third floor, seemingly the only place where the air conditioning was working. One attendee remarked to us that she needed to sit down. “It is like the subway upstairs!”
Eventually the heat forced us out, too. We accompanied sportscaster Bryant Gumbel and his wife Hilary Gumbel for the elevator ride, and he shared with us his method for coping with the sweltering temps: “I stay inside, and play golf in shorts.”
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