Digital Media Concepts/Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren edit

Ralph Lauren, born October 14, 1939, is an American fashion designer and businessman known for founding his eponymous Ralph Lauren Corporation and its countless sub-brands such as Polo, Chaps, and RRL. With a net worth estimated at over $6 billion, Ralph Lauren has cemented himself as one of the most recognizable designer and fashion brands.

Early Life edit

Originating from the Bronx neighborhood of New York City, Ralph was born on October 14, 1939 to two Jewish immigrant parents, Frieda and Frank Lifshitz. Ralph spent most of his time in New York, going to school for business at City University of New York, but dropping out in two years.[1] Growing up, Ralph was often teased by kids due to his name and Jewish background, which resulted in him changing his last name to Lauren. Ralph growing up was known for his eclectic tastes in fashion, often dressing in more preppy and vintage style looks. This early love for foundation would later flourish into the founding of his namesake label.

Career edit

Once spending some time in the military, Ralph began working sales at Brooks Brothers by day and taking business classes at night. He eventually transitioned into become a salesman for the necktie manufacturer, Beau Brummell.[2] There, Ralph began to lay his foundation for his entrepreneurial journey as he had a unique perspective on how he thought neckties should be designed. Ralph then, with the permission from Beau Brummell and $30,000 loan, began manufacturing his own line of ties. The ties quickly grew in popularity, with Ralph expanding into full menswear and the longstanding retailer Bloomingdales beginning to stock the brand. As Ralph had a long lasting love for sports, he named the brand "Polo".

Following his initial success with the ties and menswear, Ralph began to expand into womenswear in late 1970. He would release a full line of women's suits tailored in a typical men's style, which was unheard of at the time. Ralph would work out of a single tie drawer in a showroom in the Empire State Building, personally delivering new stock to retailers across the city. In his first year alone, Polo would sell over $500,000 of ties to its retailers.[3] By the end of 1971, Ralph had opened a his flagship store in Beverly Hills, becoming the first independent store for an American designer.

After being thrust into the world of fashion within a year of the brand launching, Ralph would begin to release the long standing Polo shirt design. This would be the first time the brand had ever put out the short sleeve button up shirt with the standout polo player logo embroidered into the chest. This single design would cement Polo as being a brand that would truly last the test of time, with the design being borrowed and rehashed by hundreds of brands in the decades to come.

Further brand expansion would come with the Ralph Lauren Corporation becoming publicly traded on the NYSE in 1997 as well as with the opening a few restaurants Chicago, New York, and Paris.

Combining aspects of high end British gentry style clothing with a more rugged American aesthetic, Ralph Lauren designed clothing that was accessible and approachable for the masses while still offering a luxury feel to the brand and shopping experience.[4] Since the success of the main "Polo" line, Ralph has since opened many sub brands such as Chaps, RRL, Purple Label, and more with each brand focusing on a key demographic, offering a more defined aesthetic.

Personal Life edit

Ralph Lauren is married to Ricky Anne Low-Beer and they have three children together. They currently reside on a 17,000 acre area of land in Telluride, Colorado Ralph is known for enjoying his wealth through his expansive car collection. Ralph owns over 100 cars himself, with cars ranging from 1962 Ferraris to a multi million dollar Bugatti Veyron.[5] In 2005, his car collection was even put on display at Museum of Fine Arts at Boston

Awards and Nominations edit

Ralph Lauren has won numerous awards throughout his 30 year long career. Some notable ones include him taking first place at the CFDA Awards for womenswear and menswear in 1995 and 1996 respectively.[6] In 2007, he was awarded the American Fashion Legend Award by Oprah Winfrey. Most recently, he gained the status of Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Prince Charles.

References edit

“Ralph Lauren Is Part of the BoF 500.” The Business of Fashion, 1 Oct. 2019,

“Ralph Lauren.”, A&E Networks Television, 13 Sept. 2019

“Ralph Lauren.” Hello Magazine, Hello Magazine, 10 Oct. 219

"Ralph Lauren" Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, 1 March 2020

  1. "Ralph Lauren" Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, 1 March 2020
  2. “Ralph Lauren Is Part of the BoF 500.” The Business of Fashion, 1 Oct. 2019
  3. “Ralph Lauren.”, A&E Networks Television, 13 Sept. 2019
  4. “Ralph Lauren.”, A&E Networks Television, 13 Sept. 2019
  5. “Ralph Lauren.” Hello Magazine, Hello Magazine, 10 Oct. 2019
  6. "Ralph Lauren" Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, 1 March 2020