Ralph Lauren to support Downton Abbey as fashion house signs first TV sponsorship
20:35 GMT, 10 September 2012
The Ralph Lauren Corporation has announced that it will become a national sponsor of PBS' Masterpieces series, which airs popular period dramas such as Downton Abbey.
It is being billed as the perfect partnership as American fashion designer Ralph Lauren is known to draw much inspiration from the classic designs of bygone eras.
In February the 72-year-old even sent models down the catwalk wearing English countryside-inspired garbs from the 2012 fall collection as the Downton Abbey theme tune was played.
New ventures: Fashion house Ralph Lauren has joined Viking Cruise lines as a national corporate sponsor of PBS' Masterpiece franchise
Commenting on Mr Lauren's design aesthetic Vogue's
Mark Holgate said: 'That era and locale has been one of the mainstays
of Lauren’s career, turning the shooting parties and the candlelit
dinners under the family Gainsboroughs into tweeds and Fair Isles,
jodhpurs and hacking jackets.'
He added that Lauren's clothes successfully 'manage to speak to the past yet also live and breathe in the here and now'.
The recent announcement marks the company's first TV sponsorship and Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca
Eaton called Lauren's move a tribute to the home of the hit
British period drama Downton Abbey.
While PBS highlighted that Mr Lauren 'has
always had a true appreciation for the heritage and romance of England
and reflects this through his fall 2012 collection, which is about
modern glamour inspired by timeless character and refined elegance.'
Crowd pleaser: Masterpiece is enjoying a significant surge in popularity as 17 million viewers tuned into the second season of Downton Abbey
To the manor born: Models in tweeds and
flat caps walked the catwalk to the Downton Abbey theme music at the
Ralph Lauren show at New York Fashion Week in February
Lauren's first on-air display of sponsorship begins September 30 with the series Upstairs Downstairs, which the company called another source of fashion inspiration. Other fall titles include new episodes of
Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh and the third season of Downton
Abbey is set to air in January.
Ralph Lauren joins current Masterpiece corporate funder Viking River Cruises. Viewer donations and the Masterpiece Trust also help fund the program.
David Lauren, executive VP of advertising, marketing and corporate communication, at Ralph Lauren said: 'We are proud to be associated with 'Masterpiece' and public television.'
Recently celebrating its 40th year on PBS, Masterpiece – which has won six Emmy awards for costumes – is enjoying a significant surge in popularity as 17 million viewers tuned into the second season of Downton Abbey.