What was Ralph Lauren’s life like?
American fashion designer Ralph Lauren (born Lifshitz) – a man of many interests. He is an icon of the fashion world, designer, successful entrepreneur, car collector and philanthropist. Millions envy his fame and fortune.
The future legend of the fashion world was born on October 14, 1939 in the Bronx, New York. His parents were Jewish emigrants who moved to New York after the collapse of the Russian Empire. Ralph’s father worked as a painter and wrote prose in Yiddish for his soul. His mother was a housewife. There were four children in Lauren’s family. In love with art and dreaming of a life of luxury living, at the age of 12 Ralph began to save money – he knew exactly that he would become a millionaire. And at 16, he changed his last name to Lauren. Entered the Talmudic Academy, but quit – did not like it. He went to Bernard Baruch College to study economics and business, but even there, the creative nature did not last long. Two years later, Ralph decided to quit everything and join the army.
After an honest service, the guy came back and got a job as a sales assistant at Brooks Brothers, then moved to Rivetz&Co. The company was selling a tie. Ralph Lauren liked the image of Douglas Fairbex, and he offered the company’s designers to produce wider ties. However, Lauren’s company was mocked up. Then he turned around and walked away to develop his business. He rented a mailing address at Empire State Building and started to promote his idea. So, at 26, Ralph, knowing exactly what he wanted, started his own tie company. At first, as usual, things were going tightly – Lauren’s ties were bought only by small shops. Everything changed on the day when the large department store Neiman Marcus placed an order for 1,200 ties.
In 1967, a young talent noticed a clothing manufacturer Norman Hilton, and without hesitation invested in it as much as $50 000. That’s when Ralph’s business confidently went up in flames. He opened his own shop, and the world learned about the brand Polo – the logo was a polo player, riding a horse.
From a small shop to Ralph Lauren monobrand boutiques
A year later, Ralph has a department at Bloomingdale’s, and three years later he has his own store in Beverly Hills. In the same year, his first collection of women’s clothing – Ralph Lauren Women’s wear, based on cotton women’s shirts with almost male cover. In 1970 Ralph was awarded the U.S. Coty Award for fashion critics. Then in the seventies, Peter Smith, who holds the chair of the president of the company, began to invest in the fashion designer’s business – and “Polo” began specializing in sports shirts, producing them in huge color variety.
In 1974, the studio Paramount Pictures invited Ralph to design costumes for the film “The Great Gatsby”, and for the fashion designer begins world fame, which lasts to this day.
The main direction of Ralph Lauren’s style today is to borrow from English “country” and American “western”, interestingly adapted for the modern consumer. The things he creates are recognized in most countries of the world and have become a fashion classic.