Ralph Lauren’s Man in Flushing

Meet Darvin Dowdell, a 21-year-old Queens native who works as a sales associate in the Ralph Lauren store on the club level at Arthur Ashe.

“I cater to all the, you know, guests—the wealthy kind,” Dowdell said with a sly smile on the evening of Thursday, September 6. “The best thing to do is go to the suites,” he went on, gesturing behind him to the cluster of luxe pods that coddle the Open’s—and tennis’—best paid and well-connected fans. “If a person doesn’t want to come to the store themselves, because maybe they want to be low-profile, we’ll bring whatever they want to the suite. That’s the best thing. You go there, you get a tip, you get to meet the person, have a one-on-one conversation or so.”

Of all the people he’s met at the grand slam event, Dowdell said he most enjoyed meeting Chris Rock, Gladys Knight, Mariah Carey and Colin Farrell.

But is he, at the end of the day, a tennis fan?

“Being here forces me to be one. If I see it on ESPN, I’ll sit there and watch, look see who’s doing well, who’s ranked at what. Today wasn’t that good,” he offered, before adding that he, like so many others in Flushing, is a Federer fan at heart.

Ralph Lauren’s Man in Flushing