All about Ralph Lauren

His personal style and how he built his own dream closet.
The Ralph Lauren Empire
BY Anni Leppälä

Origin Story of the Man We Got to Know as Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren, born Ralph Lifshitz on October 14, 1939, in the Bronx, New York, is an American fashion designer who built an empire that embodies timeless elegance, luxury, and the quintessential American aesthetic.

Ralph Lauren in 1955.

Lauren's interest in fashion and design began at an early age. Even as a teenager, he had a keen eye for style and often experimented with his own clothing.

During his time as a clerk at Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren began to wonder if men were open to ties with bolder designs.

In 1967 he launched his own line of men's ties, under the label "Polo" (named after the sport of the wealthy and the Royals).

These ties quickly gained attention for their quality and distinctive designs, bringing Lauren into the spotlight.

Credit: WWD: Fifty Years of Ralph Lauren
A closer look at Lauren's handcrafted mens ties. Credit: WSJ.

Ralph Lauren began using his iconic horse logo in the early 1970s, shortly after he introduced his Polo Ralph Lauren brand.

Lauren's fascination with the world of polo and its elegant lifestyle led him to incorporate the symbol of a polo player on top of a horse into his brand's logo.

Credit: Ralph Lauren.

Ralph Lauren's brand started appearing in stores in the late 1960s.

Initially, his ties were sold in upscale department stores like Bloomingdale's.

Ralph Lauren at the Polo section of Bloomingdale's. Credit: Getty Images.

Ralph Lauren's Personal Style

Ralph Lauren's personal style is as iconic as the brand he built.

Known for his impeccable tailoring, attention to detail, and timeless elegance, Lauren's style reflects a deep appreciation for tradition while embracing modern trends.

Lauren said "If you like my style, you will like my clothes" in an interview for Vogue.

For the longest time Lauren has been cooperating a hint of the western style with classic pieces. From classic cowboy boots and rustic leather belts, Lauren blends classic western style with a sophisticated twist. Credit: Les Goldberg.
Credit: Getty Images.
When Ralph Lauren decides to dress up, nothing compares to a flawlessly fitted suit. Credit: Getty Images.
Lauren is often seen wearing clothes by his own brand, and wearing then with style may I add. Ralph Lauren wearing the iconic racing jacket with style. Credit: Simbarashe Cha.
Lauren wearing a Polo shirt.

Ralph Lauren the Brand

His breakthrough came when he introduced his signature Polo Ralph Lauren brand, Lauren changed American fashion with his preppy look and dreamy lifestyle images.

In 1968 Ralph Lauren debuted the first full men's collection. Some of the pieces included were a white flannel suit and dress shirts in unexpected sport shit fabric.

By the early 1970s, Ralph Lauren's signature Polo line began to emerge, and it was featured in stores such as Brooks Brothers and Neiman Marcus.

Lauren opened his own Polo Ralph Lauren store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills in 1971, this move made his brand even more well-known in stores everywhere.

In 1972 he released the most well known Polo shirt. Lauren enjoyed adding colour to clothes, which we know from the huge selection of colour-ways.

Credit: Ralph Lauren.
Polo Ralph Lauren opened the first international flag ship store in London, 1981.

The brand has since grown children's clothing, accessories, fragrances, and home goods.

In 2015 Lauren stepped down as the boss of Ralph Lauren, he still hold the title as chief designer.