Lo-Life: An American Classic

Image of Lo-Life: An American Classic
Release Date: 
December 5, 2016
Powerhouse Books
Reviewed by: 

Regardless of the quality of the content of this book, the first thing that must be recognized and applauded is that the authors have found an aspect of fashion that has rarely been explored in book form. Lo-Life deserves the attention of all dyed in the wool fashionphiles who wish to see fashion exposed from a seldom seen perspective.

The “Lo” in Lo-Life stands for Polo as in Ralph Lauren’s Polo. If there was ever any proof needed that the Polo mystique/lifestyle is not just about clothes then this book is a testament to the brand’s marketing prowess. Lo-Life is not what Polo had in mind to verify its successful branding, but hell, you just can’t make up stuff like this.

The book is somewhat of a revelation as it is not a varnished and glorified telling of fashion but much more of a down and dirty gritty tale of the sociological, visual, and material value—aka “fly” quality—that fashion plays out in the less than prosperous urban areas of major cities around this country. Lo-Life happens in all its glory in and around New York City.

The stories are real life as redacted on the pages of this book and will expose readers to life as it existed during a time when New York City and probably many other urban areas were experiencing or soon to experience the same scenario. Actually, the authors offer a stark history of the evolution of this brand and the importance that it has within communities far afield of the WASPs that are Mr. Lauren’s target audience.  

Clearly this is not a book for everyone, but this reader was nothing short of engrossed with what was shared in print by interviewed members of the Lo-Life crew. Again, this is raw and gritty and more true to life than most of us have experienced. Lo-Life is a series of stories or survival as well as a naked treatise on the varied influences that fashion brands can exert through pervasive and magnetic branding.