Published: 2022-12-12 ǀ Updated: 2023-05-31
Ralph Lauren Biography
Ralph Lauren (* October 14, 1939, in the Bronx, New York City as Ralph Lifshitz) is an American fashion designer and founder of the Ralph Lauren Corporation, one of the world's most successful fashion companies ever. In addition to fashion, the company sells fragrances, home furnishings and even runs its restaurants, always inspired by the British aristocracy and the American upper class.
At the age of 12, Ralph Lauren — inspired by Fred Astaire and Cary Grant — is already known at school for his expensive suits. He earned the money for this by selling ties to his fellow students.
After dropping out of college and serving two years in the Army, Lauren designs his first tie collection under the Polo name. He acquires the rights to the brand name in the same year from the Brooks Brothers, who had originally planned a fashion line for polo players.
The designer wins the Coty Award for his New England-style collections for men.
The first complete women's collection follows.
Lauren designs costumes for The Great Gatsby (1974) which wins the Oscar for Best Costume Design. He creates the polo shirt, which is still popular today, in the same year.
More cinematic work follows: The Wild Party (1975) and later Annie Hall (1977).
Ralph Lauren fell ill with a brain tumor, but was able to be completely cured. Since then, he has supports various initiatives for research and treatment of cancer.
Lauren receives a lifetime achievement award.
The company goes public as the largest listed clothing company on the New York Stock Exchange. Ralph Lauren holds about 73% of the company's shares.
The designer starts the Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation, which is committed to the fight against cancer.
Ralph Lauren has been the official outfitter of the US Open, since 2006 of the Wimbledon tournament, and since 2008 he has outfitted the US Olympic team.
He becomes a Knight of the Legion of Honor.
Lauren hands over the CEO post to Stefan Larsson, but retains the role of chief designer and chairman of the board of directors. Larsson is replaced again in 2017.
Lauren becomes the first U.S. fashion designer to be named an Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Prince Charles.
The head of a Mexican cultural commission accuses the entrepreneur of copying indigenous designs. For this, Lauren immediately apologized. (BBC)
- His son David Lauren has been married to Lauren Bush since 2011. His nephew Greg Lauren is the husband of Elizabeth Berkley.
- With few exceptions, Lauren does not present his menswear at fashion shows.
- In South Africa, the sale and purchase of Polo Ralph Lauren brand clothing is prohibited, as the company Polo South Africa has held the trademark rights for the name "Polo" since the 1970s and operates its own Polo stores there.