19— Citroën H Van (Midtown)
Vintage cars have great appeal to the marketing departments of so-called aspirational clothing brands because they help complete the brand image these companies are selling. Only a few years ago Tommy Hilfiger parked an old wood-paneled Jeep Grand Wagoneer on the floor of the Herald Square Macy’s and used it in their print advertising. J. Crew catalogues often make props of old Broncos and Benzes. This practice is so prevalent there ought to be a Pinterest page about it.
The “Ralph’s Coffee” Citroën, shown here outside the flagship Ralph Lauren store Friday, falls neatly into this tradition. RL’s choice of a French van is a curious one though. A brand whose image is classic American style might have been better paired an old American truck. Perhaps Ralph himself had seen the H Vans used extensively by the Philadelphia coffee purveyor La Colombe and liked the idea. That would explain the coffee.