Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren

Now a billion-dollar label, Ralph Lauren was created by the designer in Manhattan in 1967. Filled with innovative spirit and a fearless take on what modern fashion should look like, this ground-breaking brand has stirred things up for decades, creating some of the best known clothing lines, fragrances, accessories and furnishings in the world today.


Ralph Lauren originally Ralph Lifshitz was born in the Bronx, New York city, October 14, 1939. His parents and three siblings were Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants. At 16 Ralph and his brother Jerry changed their name to Lauren after being teased in school. Throughout his teenage years Lauren had a vintage, Hollywood screen inspired style. Lauren graduated High School in 1957 and went on to study business at the Baruch College in Manhattan. Lauren dropped out after two years and joined the forces for a short time. Lauren then took on a job briefly at Brooks Brothers before becoming a salesman for a tie company. In 1967 Lauren convinced the president of Beau Brummell, who he worked for to release his own line.

Ralph Lauren

Lauren had a keen interest in sport, taking inspiration naming his first menswear line ‘Polo’ in 1968. He worked out of a single drawer in the Empire State building, delivery his collection to stores himself. By 1969 the department store Bloomindale’s had given Lauren his own in-store boutique, this was a first for the iconic store. Following his recognition, he launched his first women’s collection. In 1971 the Ralph Lauren Corporation opened its first store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California. This was a monumental moment as it was the first free standing store for an American designer. In 1972 we saw the famous polo player logo on the chest of the polos. The tag line for the campaign was ‘Every team has its colour – Polo has seventeen’. In 1974 he dressed the male cast of The Great Gatsby, ironically dressing Robert Redford in a pink suit for his character Jay Gatsby. The first Ralph Lauren fragrances was launched in Bloomingdales in 1978, Lauren the fragrance for women and Polo, the cologne for men. In 1981 the company went international opening a store on New Bond Street in the West End of London and in 2000 they launched their official web site. In more recent years Lauren stepped down as chief executive and appointed Stefan Larsson for the position. Today Ralph Lauren has been featured on over 100 global magazines and this year Ralph Lauren celebrated the 50th anniversary of his brand in a lavish fashion show at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park, with many celebrities in attendance.


Behind The Brand – Ralph Lauren