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Ralph Lauren, the vision and the clothes..
The Dream, The Vision, and The Clothes. Slow and easy does it - such can be used to describe Ralph Lauren's steady rise to fashion immortality.
Born in The Bronx to Jewish immigrants in 1939, a young Ralph Lauren (then Ralph Lifschitz) was already besotted with clothes. While attending Salanter Academy Jewish Day School and later, MTA, Ralph worked after school and sold ties to his classmates to buy suits for himself. After graduating from high school, he then studied business at Baruch College, only to drop out after two years. He served in the US Army for several years, and married Ricky Low-Beer after his discharge.
He later resumed selling ties – this time, with Brooks Brothers. He never had formal design training, but he eventually found financial backing to open a necktie store of his own under the 'Polo' label. In no time at all, he was able to buy the label back from his backer.
In 1970, Ralph created an exclusive men's wear line for heartthrob Andrew McLean. He was catapulted into the forefront of New York fashion when it won a City Award. Around this time, the first Polo emblem was created and seen on a popular line of women's suits tailored similar to men's suits. This proved Ralph's talent for transcending th gender divide. He was then contracted to design costumes for the movie, The Great Gatsby.
In 1972, Ralph released the first of the short-sleeved mesh shirts carrying the Polo emblem in 24 colors. It was an instant bestseller and is still in-demand to this day.
Ralph is known for making the preppy look chic. This style has since been extended to his sportswear and casualwear designs, as well as bags, shoes, fragrances, and home furnishings. Ralph's empire went public in 1997 and now includes the Ralph Lauren Collection, Polo Sport, and Polo Ralph Lauren brands. Look online for latest Ralph Lauren fashion for men and women.
Indeed, Ralph Lauren is more than just a designer. He's an institution.