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Ralph Lauren is an American fashion designer Ralph Lauren’s luxury lifestyle company Polo specializes in high-end casual/semi-formal wear for men and women, as well as accessories, fragrance, and housewares. Here is a timeline of the brand that sells the American Dream.


 

Ralph Lauren establishes the Polo label with an instantly successful line of ties. In direct opposition to the narrow ties and conventional styles of the time, Lauren designs wide, handmade ties using unexpected, flamboyant, opulent materials. The ties quickly become a menswear status item. 


Already interested in promoting a lifestyle with his ties, Ralph Lauren names his line after a sport that embodies a world of discreet elegance and classic style: Polo.


 

1970 Ralph Lauren released a line of women’s suit that were tailored in a classic men’s style, which was when the first Polo emblem was seen. It was on the cuff of the women’s suit. 


1971 Ralph Lauren opens his first store in Beverly Hills and the first in-store boutique opened at Bloomingdale’s in New York.

 

1972 Ralph Lauren released Polo’s famous short sleeve mesh shirt with the Polo logo. It came out in 24 colors. It became an overnight classic. 


1974 Lauren gained recognition for his design after he was contracted to provide clothing styles for the movie The Great Gatsby.

1977 Lauren designs clothes for both Diane Keaton and Woody Allen in Annie Hall.

 Polo was the first cologne launched in 1978. 

1978  The city boy goes cowboy with his “Westernwear” collection.


1981 Polo Ralph Lauren opens its first international store, on London’s Bond Street.

1983 Lauren led the designer pack into home furnishings, introducing his Home Collection.

1984 Lauren transformed the Rhinelander Mansion, into the flagship store for Polo Ralph Lauren.

1985 The company makes inroads in the denim market with its “Dungarees” campaign.


1987 Lauren was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. In April of that year, he underwent surgery to remove the tumor, and made a full recovery.


1989 The Polo flag sweater is introduced.

1990 Lauren tees off with Polo Golf.

1991 The company runs its influential “University Club” advertisements.

1993 The designer introduces Double RL, a line of casual wear named after his Colorado ranch.

1993 Polo Sport launches.

1994 Lauren unveils Purple Label, his take on classic Savile Row tailoring.

1996 Polo Jeans Debut


 

1997 Polo Ralph Lauren became a public company, traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RL.


2005 As an official sponsor at the U.S. Open, Lauren supersizes his logo.

2006 Polo is named the first official outfitter of Wimbledon.

2007 Polo sponsors its first-ever polo team, the Black Watch.

2008 Polo Ralph Lauren signs a deal to become exclusive parade outfitter of the 2008 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams

How Bronx’s Ralph Lauren Became An American Icon::


Fashion Designer Ralph Lauren has become the epitome of classic fashion. With product lines such as Polo/Ralph Lauren for Men, Ralph Lauren for Women, Double RL, Ralph Lauren Home, and even Ralph Lauren paint, it makes us wonder who the man behind the label really is.


Born Ralph Lifshitz on October 14, 1939, in the Bronx, New York, Ralph Lauren has come a long way from his days of sharing a bedroom with two of his brothers. Growing up in a middle-class Jewish family, Ralph and his three older brothers were raised by his mother, while his artist father painted houses.

 

Lauren’s fashion sense was apparent at an early age when he would purchase expensive suits with the money he earned working at his after-school job. Although he knew he could find his clothes at a less expensive price, he made it a point to look stylish in his expensive threads — and he has succeeded at looking cool in his attire since the age of 12.

 

One would think that Lauren attended fashion design school, but he actually studied business at City College in Manhattan, and dropped out short of receiving his business degree.

Student by night, Lauren would work by day at two glove companies as a salesman. He then worked for a tie manufacturer named A. Rivetz & Co., which ultimately led to the fashion empire he leads today.

 

 

While working at A. Rivetz & Co., Lauren began designing wide ties, which spawned his first entrepreneurial career. With his tie designs and a $50,000 loan, Lauren founded the company Polo Fashions in 1968. Along with his older brother, he chose the name Polo because of the power, style and intrigue that the brand has always been associated with.

The Polo brand known today as the preppy English-tweed look it conveys did not get to be a million dollar empire because Lauren was lucky, nor because Lauren had an immaculate sense of style. Lauren not only had an innovative mind, but he also knew that packaging and presentation were of utmost importance — something he didn’t need to learn while studying for his business degree.

 

In the late 60’s, while Lauren was trying to develop his line of wide ties, Bloomingdale’s insisted Lauren remove his name from the ties’ label, and make his ties narrower. Not giving into the retail giant Bloomingdale’s, Lauren stuck to his guns and refused to sell to the department store under such circumstances. Suffice it to say, the retailer came back crawling to Lauren and his ties under his terms, after having seen the brand’s success. The rest as they say, is history.

 

While Polo was considered the “power suit” of the early 80’s, Armani had brought the Italian power suit back in style later on in the decade, which pushed aside Polo’s preppy look. Lauren had fought back with his sophisticated line of men’s shirts and suits, made of fine fabrics. He successfully catered to the office worker who wanted to look stylish, while looking powerful in the office. 


Next came Lauren’s line of women’s clothing, followed by his home collection line consisting of sheets, towels and furniture in the early 80’s. 


It is Lauren’s innovativeness, among many other traits of the model businessman, that has made him the founder, designer and chairman of a $900 million company. Not only was he the first fashion designer to have his own store, but he was the first to sell the whole lifestyle image that consumers flock to worldwide. Lauren sells much more than clothes and home furnishings; he sells a lifestyle image of sophistication, class and taste.

His keen business sense, ability to stand by his product at all costs and ability to prevail despite several business failures are what make him a man whose net worth is $1 billion. A man whose car collection ranges from a 1929 Bentley and a 1937 Alfa Romeo, to a 1938 Bugatti and a 1962 Ferrari.

A man who owns a ranch in Colorado, homes in Jamaica and Long Island, an estate in Bedford, New York to add to his Fifth Avenue Manhattan address. A man who offers everyone the opportunity to look as good as he does, simply by purchasing his products. 

His line of clothing and home collection have the taste and snobbism — minus the flashiness — that make the Ralph Lauren/Polo brand timeless.

Between school and his career move into the fashion industry, Lauren served in the United States Army from 1962-1964, and married Ricky Low-Beer after his army days. He is also the father of three children, Andrew, David and Dylan. 

Polo prefers licensing over manufacturing; it oversees many licensees as well as more than 350 contract manufacturers worldwide. The firm operates about 275 retail and outlet stores in the US and licenses more than 100 others worldwide. Founder Ralph Lauren still controls almost 90% of Polo’s voting power.

It can be argued that Lauren’s greatest success is his recognition. Along with a handful of other U.S. designers, he is a single-named phenomenon. Sure, there’s Calvin, Donna and Marc. But everybody knows Ralph.


Vintage Polo item$::


Authentic vintage Polo Ralph Lauren clothing is highly sought after, well made and expensive. Polo is a legendary brand of high end clothing and its early pieces are important to those with an interest in fashion history or those with a love for Polo.


Polo Pullover Stadium Line 1992

 

$1,500.00

 




Ralph Lauren Sport Snow Beach

$3,500.00





you already know how i get down! – ti$a


A Look Inside Ralph Lauren’s Garage::



Ralph Lauren runs his own billion-dollar company, grew up in a middle-class neighborhood where the high school was an archetypal blue-collar 50’s “Grease”-era institution, and he started his business relying on his belief in his ability to turn normal schmucks into people who looked and felt like the world’s elite.

Every day in the late 1950s young Ralph Lifshitz did a double-take during his pedestrian commute in New York City to his job selling ties at Brooks Brothers as he passed import car dealer showrooms. His car nut side developed at that time, when he hoofed his way through Manhattan passing Jaguar and Morgan shops at a time when not many places in the U.S. had those rare imports on display. He thought the cars were beautiful.

He was so smitten by post-war sports cars he actually purchased a Morgan while he was a working stiff in car-unfriendly New York City, yet had to sell it because he had no place he could afford to park it. The loss of the off-white Morgan drop-top was but one tough break for the budding clothes marketing genius until the late 1970s, when he finally started buying the cars he loved.

Lauren, who changed his name because he was teased about it in school, bought the cars he liked to actually drive them as commuter cars. Time magazine once quoted him about his name change: “My given name has the word shit in it,” he told Time. “When I was a kid, the other kids would make a lot of fun of me. It was a tough name. That’s why I decided to change it.”

After the Morgan he deserted because of space issues in New York, he bought a Mercedes 280SE drop-top to use as a commuter in the city, never mind the impracticality of a soft-top car in New York City. As if that wasn’t impractical, he consecutively bought two Porsche 930s as get-to-work machines, not considering the rarity of these turbocharged supercars would work to transform them into the nearly unobtainable classics they are today. Both Porsches came black-on-black, the way the factory intended these devilishly fast faux-racers to be, but today the sinister color scheme elevates them to a level of fierceness of purpose that other Porsche colors can’t reach. Black 930s just look meaner than any other color. In the late 1980s black was the new cool. Ralph Lauren knew this long before. “I feel that cars in black are very weighty, they have a beauty and a shape and a sexy-ness to them,” Lauren explains.

Without aiming to become a deliberate car collector, the daily drivers in which Lauren shuffled himself around Manhattan were the exotics of the future, the inspiration for today’s Murcielagos, Diablos and Enzos. So like the hundreds of guys who owned Ferraris as just plain driving cars in the mid-1980s, Lauren liked his own cars because they were fun to drive and looked cool. That’s it. Lauren bought his Alfa Romeo 8C 2900, Mercedes SSK, Porsche 550 and Ferrari front-engine racers because he thought they were beautiful. He purchased street cars such as a 1955 Mercedes SL gullwing, a 1988 Porsche 959, and three McLaren F1 supercars powered by BMW’s race-derived 6.0-liter V-12s. He was a collector long before it became trendy for rich guys to buy their way into the exotic car market as a social hobby and an investment

Lauren explains: “I never cared about being a collector. It was not my goal. Cars were always something that I loved. It was also about the famous owners and the men who built the cars. I was fascinated reading about what Enzo Ferrari was like, what Ettore Bugatti was about, and getting a sense of why they built these cars and what their lives were like. It’s the lifestyle, the romance, all those things together.”

Lauren’s people support the image that he collected some really nifty machines because of his elevated taste, using words like “pedigree” and “classic” and “timeless” to describe everything the man owns. “Cars have always been a source of design inspiration for me. The cars I collect have a message of timeless beauty,” reads his publicity material. However, he also has un-restored Jeeps and pickups that he thinks are cool because they’re in original condition, the kind that make you want to put one boot up on the dashboard while you’re driving it, envisioning 200 more miles of ranch road to cover before you get to feed to the cattle.

In addition to homes in New York and Jamaica, 68-year-old Lauren has a ranch in Colorado, and he gets around not just in his old pickups or Wagoneer, but in a ’57 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz, in turquoise that’s been faded by the sun and weather, and is the equivalent of wearing a 1975 polyester leisure suit to the Oak Room today. If you can pull it off, that’s as cool as David Arquette wearing homeless-guy plaids on The Tonight Show. “I got hooked on European cars, though I love army Jeeps and pickup trucks and Woodies. They represent something that is beyond just the engine. The pickups represent a life, the farms, and the sort of utility I love. Jeeps, the same utility and sensibility. They were so stripped down, but they were so cool,” says the master of looking cool. If James Dean were alive today he’d copy Lauren, who, of course, has a 1955 Porsche 550 RS Sypder–an edition of the James Dean death car. “I never liked big cars,” he offers. “I never liked the old American cars with the beautiful shapes. They are artistically beautiful, but they have no appeal to me at all.”

Each week Lauren strolls through his collection of about 70 significant machines, which are kept in running condition at all times, ready for him to drive them to events, and on private drives. Most of the cars are in his secluded assemblage of three garages on Long Island. However, he’s building a new single garage to house all of the cars, in an artificially created mild climate friendlier than the ambient climate the East Coast provides, to help preserve them. Perhaps a quarter of the collection is not restored, and there are no plans to turn them into showpieces. These cars are at their coolest exactly as they sit. Screw the trophies.

The garage that’s under construction now has a library, which is where all of the memorabilia and trophies that the more famous cars have won will be displayed, not out in the main hall where the cars are. Most of the attention to the new structure was invested in climate control, and the space is kept deliberately sparse to focus visitors’ attention on the cars themselves. Visitors will be a rare occurrence, too, because there are no plans yet to open the structure to the public.

Friends of Lauren’s who will see the collection in its new habitat include Porsche competition phenom Brian Redman and America’s first world champion racer and notable car restorer Phil Hill, who know the cars intimately. Lauren needs such experts to begin to help advise him about additional cars to add to the unique and special collection, because one-of-a-kind supercars are becoming more difficult to find. Additions to the collection would be small in volume, says chief caretaker Mark Reinwald, “He specializes in quality, not quantity, and it’s getting harder to find the next spectacular car.”

Lauren is a very private celebrity, and when anonymous purchases are made at the growing number of classic auctions in the country, his name emerges as a possible buyer. We may never know how many cars, and which super-rare machines he will ever own, although according to Reinwald, he favors driving the modern exotics and some of the older classics when he has a rare free weekend. Reinwald drives each car every six weeks, which he says is the best way to keep them in running condition. Each of the 70 machines is connected to a battery tender the rest of the time so the cars can be used anytime. During good Northeast weather, Lauren will grab one of the supercars, one of three ’96 McLaren F1s, the ’88 Porsche 959, or the Ferrari F40, and rack up some miles across the backroads. “Once you drive the McLaren, it’s over. It’s like no car I’ve ever driven. The McLaren is like Star Wars–a hovercraft. I feel like I’m not touching the ground. It’s an experience I’ve never had before.”

“Strangely enough, I really don’t like to drive the cars when people are around,” Lauren admits. “As it turns out, I don’t really want to be seen in the cars. There’s a part of me that likes the privacy, so the more garish the car, the less I want to drive it. On weekends, depending on the weather, I love the Jaguars, the XK120 or XK140. I love the Mercedes Gullwing and roadster and the Porsches.” In addition to the remarkable 959, he has a Carrera GT, too.

The non-race Ferraris, Porsches, and Jaguars see a lot of pedal time from Lauren. But he doesn’t ignore driving the race cars. However, he does drive them when his mood dictates and when the weather is cool enough that enjoyment in cramped, overheated cockpits is at its highest possibility.

 

For a guy who’s sweated out paying his Wall Street dues most of his life, you can forgive his desire to tear around in the air-conditioned comfort of a new Ferrari 599 instead of a 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. Well, we can.

 

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