A savant’s rise to fame
“If you want greatness, you have to put the time into greatness. You can’t have greatness overnight and you can’t have greatness just because you snap your fingers.” Ralph Lauren perfectly sums up his evolution as a fashion designer to an American style icon with these words.
It all started in 1967 when Ralph Lauren started his own necktie line under the label Polo. Ralph, who was 28 at that time was working for Beau Brummell, the tie manufacturer. Ralph’s ties stood out from the trends of that time with wide ties design and use of high-end, luxurious fabrics.
In Ralph’s first year of business, he sold $500,000 worth of ties to the most illustrious names in men’s clothing which included Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and Paul Stuart. “It wasn't the tie; it was a commitment to myself. It was a commitment to do what I loved and give it my all. It was exciting. That tie grew into a whole industry. (1992) I called it Polo because it was a sport that had a sensibility that was sporty and international. It was tweedy and sophisticated. It was stylish. Polo had an imagery that represented the lifestyle of the ties and the clothes. (2000)”
By the following year, a full line of Polo menswear was launched. Bloomingdale’s in New York was home to the first Polo Ralph Lauren shop. It was also the first time this mega-chain store gave the designer his own in-store boutique. In 1970, Bill Blass had this to say about Ralph’s designs, “He’s the first young designer I’ve seen that I feel as sure as I do about myself.”
The brand continued its pace in the fashion scene, and created even more buzz in 1971. This was the year Polo debuted tailored shirts for women. This was the same year the ‘polo player’ logo was introduced, and embroiled on the cuffs of the women’s shirts and followed by the creation of his iconic Polo Shirt a year afterward. Ralph said this about his latest design, “I changed the women's shirt and made it sexier, with skinny sleeves and a skinny fit. They were much like the men's, made in the men's factory, but they were not just your boyfriend's shirt. They were yours.”
After establishing the brand in the menswear market, Ralph tackled womenswear in 1972. Two years later, Polo Ralph Lauren created the wardrobe for the stars of the movie The Great Gatsby. The Gatsby look was created for Robert Redford and included a pink suit as well. The brand celebrated its first international store opening in London in 1981. During the 1980s, the brand launched Ralph Lauren Home, debuted its Santa Fe collection and women’s equestrian collection.
The 1990s marked a period of continuous innovation for the brand. In 1992, Lauren received the 1991 CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award. Audrey Hepburn presented the designer with the award during the ceremony. The next year, the brand celebrated more debuts including a line of casual menswear, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, and Ralph Lauren paint.
Today, the brand has broadened its reach with a vast variety of offerings from casual wear, red-carpet looks, sportswear and formal wear too. Be it for men, women or kids, the connecting thread of this brand is that it constantly delivers quality, style and iconic silhouettes with and even more recognizable logo.
A designer who has captured the hearts of the stars
Kate Middleton, Uma Thurman, Jessica Simpson, Kourtney Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Taylor Swift, Megan Fox, Freida Pinto, Keira Knightley, Angelina Jolie are some of Ralph Lauren’s top outfitters. The star studded list also includes Kate Bosworth, Emmy Rossum, Shailene Woodley, Kristen Stewart, Olivia Palermo, Beyonce Knowles, Sarah Jessica Parker, Camilla Belle, Alessandra Ambrosio, Cate Blanchett, Emma Watson, Angelina Jolie, Chrissy Teigen, Rachel McAdams and Blake Lively among others.
Ten Ralph Lauren facts you should know by now
- Ralph Lauren is the official outfitter for Wimbledon Tennis Championships and the U.S. Open through 2015
- Ralph Lauren is the only designer who has won four of the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s top honors. (They are the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Womenswear Designer of the Year Award, the Menswear Designer of the Year Award and the Retailer of the Year Award)
- Dylan Lauren, Ralph Lauren’s daughter, is the founder of Dylan’s Candy Bar, a chain of boutique candy shops
- Ralph Lauren is under contract as the designer of the U.S Olympic team’s uniforms since 2008 and will continue to do so until 2020
- Ralph Lauren was born Ralph Rueben Lifshitz, and changed his last name to Lauren when he was 16 years old
- Ralph Lauren served in the United States Arm Reserves
- Besides designing clothing, Ralph Lauren has three restaurants. (They are RL Restaurant in Chicago, Polo Bar in New York and Ralph’s in Paris)
- In 1986, Ralph was inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame
- Ralph started the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer (FTBC) initiative in 1994
- Ralph had the honor of receiving his first-ever CFDA American Fashion Legend Award in June 2007
Go online for the good Ralph Lauren stuff
Hands up those of you who feel like you were born to shop! We’re part of the group and just like any fashion lover, we have our own favourites in fashion and style. There are many talented and visionary designers out there who are known for their nuggets of fashion wisdom, but there’s one name that’s simultaneously captured all markets (men, women and children), Ralph Lauren.
If shopping online gives you a reason to live for another 3 to 5 days (or something less dramatic but captures the exact sentiment), then you’re at the right page. Shopping online can be just as exhilarating as wrapping your fingers around the handles of a new shopping bag. All it takes is a few scrolls, a watchful eye and a couple of clicks before you are introduced to your latest fashion find.
Whether it’s that Ralph Lauren fragrance you have been eyeing or a new outfit, iprice Hong Kong has the right selection from the best online stores in the country. Even better than the discounts, promotions and offers, you can shop on the go via your mobile phone. Saw something in store that’s out of stock when you next visit? Look for it on iprice! After all, life is too short for a boring outfit, bag or accessory!