Ralph Lauren is American’s leading designer in the classic tradition, who has stayed true to his own point of view, despite the seasonal vagaries of fashion. Mr. Lauren has always believed that fashion is function of lifestyle. He believes that clothed should be natural, comfortable and elegant, for the way people live today. His clothes have timeless grace and become more personal and special age.
For Mr. Lauren, the starting point is always his concern for quality and attention to detail, while the creative drama comes from his own romantic sense of elegance and reverence for authencity. Always true to his own purely American vision of fashion, his products are nearly as diverse as the country that inspires them. He designs a wide range of products, including menswear, womenswear, boyswear, girlswear, home furnishing, eyewear, scarves, shoes, hosiery, fragrances, handbag, luggage and leather goods. And the stores that carry his products are located across the United States and around the world.
MENSWEAR : POLO BY RALPH LAUREN
In 1967, the New York born bred Ralph Lauren started the Polo division of Beau Brummel neckties. Ties at that time were in an Ivy League phase-dark, narrow and undistinguished. But, for several years, Mr. Lauren had harbored the nation that the time was right for a new look. And so, he pioneered the wide tie-a four-inch tie made from opulent materials and fabrications that were unheard of in the business. Polo ties soon became the status tie. And Ralph Lauren became the menswear design to watch, as his ties revolutionized the industry.
Mr.Lauren had more dreams to fulfill. He chose the name Polo for his line of ties because the sport repsented to him a lifestyle of athletic grace and discreet elegance, an image of men who wore well-tailored, classic clothes and wore them with style. With that image in mind, Mr Lauren established Polo as a separate menswear company in 1968, producing a complete line of men’s clothes. Using only the finest fabrications, Mr. Lares’s menswear was distinctive, innovative, but always classic and refined. His suits blended the American Ivy League natural shoulder silhouette with the fitted shape and expensive fabrics of the best European custom tailored clothing. His shirts were all cotton, richly patterned and expertly made. This same care was, and still is, applied to every element of Mr. Lauren’s collections as it expanded to include knitwear, sportswear, outwear, accessories and shoes. Today, Polo stands as a bastion of quality and elegance, a menswear institution that maintains a readily identifiable image and a devoted following.
Polo/Ralph Lauren’s men’s apparel is distributed by licences in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hongkong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, The Netherlands, Panama, Scandinavia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, The United Kingdom and Uruguay, all under the Polo by Ralph Lauren label.
Under the Chaps by Ralph Lauren label, Mr. Lauren’s designs a collection of mens’s clothing, shirts, sportswear and ties for young executives who want a traditional look and have an appreciation for good design and value. In 1981, Mr. Lauren introduced Polo University Club, a line of tailored to the college student and aspiring young businessman developing his professional wardrobe with the taste level that Polo represents.
HIS WOMENSWEAR : RALPH LAUREN
Ralph Laurens first introduced his clothing for women in 1971, and his impact on women’s fashion has been such that “Ralph Lauren woman” gas become part of the vocabulary of our time. She is active, independent and assured-the images of a woman who possesses innate elegance, based on understatement, and feminity. His are clothes for women who would wear tailored clothing much in the manner of Hepburn or Garbo and, with their own sense of personal style. Today, Mr. Ralph Lauren has established his own medley of signature classic – well cut hacking jackets, man tailored shirts, pleated trousers, chic city suit and exquisitely-colored Fairisle and motif sweaters. His collection offers the most elegant and feminine silhouette in beautiful fabrics, including delicate handkerchief linen and lace blouses, classic tailored blazers, refined and sophicasted dresses, handknit folk art sweaters, elegant sportswear and rich cashmere evening dresses.
Ralph Lauren’s ready to wear lines include collection, classic, Roughwear, Activewear and Swimwear. Mr. Lauren’s ready to wear collections are licenses on Brazil, Canada, Europe, Hongkong, Japan, Korea, and Mexico. Ralph Lauren also licenses a line of sewing patterns to Vogue Patterns.
HIS BOYSWEAR : POLO BY RALPH LAUREN
Ralph Lauren’s boyswear was introduced in the Fall of 1978. The Impetus for the line was the scarcity of clothing with style and quality that Mr. Lauren encountered when shopping for his own sons. Polo for Boys is bright, active sportswear as well as finely tailored clothing in the Polo menswear style.
These are shaped blazers and hacking jackets and outerwear in range of design – clothes that are durable enough for the school yard, yet fine enough for a party. Mr. Lauren’s success lies in the cut, the careful selection of fabrics and attention to detail. Mr. Lauren’s boyswear, available in sizes 4 through 20, is marketed under the Polo by Ralph Lauren label.
HIS GIRLSWEAR : RALPH LAUREN
Introduced in Fall 1981, Ralph Lauren’s girlswear was natural evolution from his WOMEN SWEAR and boyswear. In his girlswear collection of sizes from 7 though 14, Mr. Lauren employs the same winning formula he uses for WOMEN SWEAR – good quality, natural fiber fabrics, menswear caliber tailoring and sensible styling that is as fresh and new as it is timeless. It is a natural and effortless juxtaposition of lace and tweeds, flannels and velvets. Smock dresses with lace collars and sturdy tweed hacking jackets are offered, as are pinafores and corduro jeans. This is clothing for little girls with a sense of style. Ralph Lauren girlswear is available in Canada in Japan.
HOME FURNISHING: THE RALPH LAUREN HOME COLLECTION
Ralph Lauren’s unrewarded search for furnishing exhibiting the same quality, detailing and style found in his menswear and WOMEN SWEAR lead him to create his own home collection in the Fall 1983. This was the first time a major apparel designer offered an all encompassing program of home furnishing from bedding, towels and potpourri to rugs, wall covering and furniture, that all coordinated in innovative home environments.
In Spring of 1996, the Home collection expanded to include furniture – romantic rattan and wicker love seats, chairs, tables and beds that evoke a simple country charm, especially when paired with Mr. Lauren’s beautiful fabric. Blanket and pillows. The success of the rattan and wicker furniture collection led to introduction of Ralph Lauren’s upholstered furniture collection in the Fall of 1996. This collection includes club chairs, love seats, sofas, ottomans and wing chairs, in more than 200 exclusive Ralph Lauren fabric. Every piece has a distinctively unique Ralph Lauren look, which enhances and complements his many lifestyle themes.
Ralph Lauren’s Fall 1989 Collections continue this tradition of classic style for the home and include new coordinated room settings –“Thoroughbred,” “Chintz, ” Knights bridge” and “American Country”. ” Thoroughbred’s” elegant formality and plush luxuriousness create the ambiance of a gentleman’s dressing quarters. “Chintz” is a romantic collection of elaborate chintzes floral fabric’s eith a turn-of-the century feeling. “Knits bridge” combines old-world refinement and flair to redefine masculine fabrics for the home. “American Country” has the charm and homespun quality of an American’s folk heritage.
Mr. Lauren’s home collection includes bedding, towels and trows that have become classic under his label, in versatile fabrics and patterns than can be worked into any of this season’s collection, or used to augment classics from past season’s.
The Ralph Laurens Home Collection is available at fine department stores, specialty stores, select Polo/ Ralph Lauren shops, and at two free standing Ralph Lauren Home collection shops in Palo Alto, California and Brussels, Belgium.
OTHER PRODUCT CATEGORIES
Ralph Lauren has achieved distinction in other product categories. Like his clothing, Mr. Lauren’s fragrances – Polo by Ralph Lauren (for men) and Laurens (for women)-have become American classics since their production in 1978. The Polo men’s fragrance, packaged in forest green flasks, is sporty rich in the masculine tradition of wood, leather and thebaic. The Lauren fragrance is light and contemporary, elegant in its burgundy collector’s bottle. Not content with the great success of both Polo Ralph Laurens, Ralph Lauren introduced another scent in 1979 – Chaps, for men. Capturing the spirit of the American West that Mr. Lauren did so effectively with his westernwear apparel collections, a man can put on Chaps as naturally as he would have worn a leather jacket or a pair of jeans. The scent has enduring, richly masculine feeling in its deep leathery notes and fresh, natural sage tones.
Ralph Lauren introduced an extensive collection of footwear for men and women in 1982. Ralph Lauren Footwear exhibits the finest handmade quality in everything from bench-made English shoes, hand lasted, stitched and polished, to hand sewn Maine boots and moccasins. The collection includes footwear crafted from top quality leathers, suedes and crocodile in a wide range of styles.
In the Fall of 1986, Ralph Lauren introduced a new collection of luggage, and chose as its basic classic Black watch plaid in sturdy double layered cotton twill, which is durable and handsome. The canvas is protected by a highly water resistant coating which preserves the luggage against wear and exposure. The deep tones of timeless plaid will enduro, as it is designed to withstand years of use. Each piece has fine details such as solid brass fittings and saddle coauthor trim and handles. The collection offers Polo’s timeless style craftsmanship in beautiful design to serve the complete travel needs of Mr.Lauren’s costumer. Mirroring the diversity of Mr. Lauren’s clothing line in range from sporty roughwear to collection clothing, Is Mr. Lauren’s line of women handbags. Mr. Lauren design handbags in a broad range of styles, from casual canvas and saddle leather to elegant crocodile, linen and tapestry.
Mr. Lauren has also designed a complete line of small leather goods for men and women, including rich reptile belts, fine calf wallets, elegant desk accessories and getlement’s braces. In addition, Mr. Lauren designs beautiful scarves in wool challis, silk and cotton: fine robes: swimwear: hosiery: hats and eyewear.
Ralph Laurens has an expanding network of stores across America and worldwide that exclusively carry Polo/Ralph Lauren products. In April 1986, Mr. Lauren opened Polo/ Ralph Lauren on Madison Avenue and 72nd street in New York City, the jewel in the crown of the more than 125 Polo/Ralph Lauren stores across the country and around the world that exist today. The store in the culmination of a five-year search for the premier location in New York, and a year and half of design and construction to restore the architectural integrity of the landmark building, and create the proper setting for Mr.Lauren’s design. The Madison Avenue store is a showcase for Mr. Lauren’s lifestyle philosophy, in which his creations – from clothing and accessories to home furnishing – are presented in their own environments.
Other Polo/Ralph Lauren stores in The United States include: Phoenix, Arizona: Beverly hills, Carmel, Costa Mesa, La Jolla, Palm desert, Palo Alto, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Chlorinate Santa Barbara, California: Denver, Aspen and Vail, Colorado: Greenwich, Stanford and West Farmington, Connecticut: Georgetown and Downtown Washington, D.C., and other Part of the country.
As part of Ralph Lauren’s global expansion, a store was establishing in 1989 in London, England. Then, In April 1986, Mr. Lauren opened a store in Paris, and became the First American Definer to do so. A beautiful complement to the New York and London stores, Polo/ Ralph Lauren, Paris is located in the Former Thomas Cook building, a Deuxieme Empire structure at the corner of Rue Royal and Place e la Madeleine. Other European Polo stores are located in St. Tropez, Deauville, Stockholm, Geneva, Munich and two cities in Belgium, Knokke and Antwerp. Other Polo/Ralph Lauren stores are available are located in Hongkong: Japan; Malaysia; Taiwan; Singapore; Korea; Mexico; Monterrey; Brazil; Uruguay; Spain; as well as across Canada.
In 1987, Ralph Lauren opened his Polo Country store, and today there are nine such shops which express the eclectic cham of New England stores. The stores are designed to showcase Mr. Lauren’s vision of country lifestyles, and include casual weekend clothing, accessories, folk art, antique country furniture and selection from the Ralph Lauren Home Collection. Polo Country stores are located in the Madison Avenue Store in New York City, and in free standing stores in Little Rock, Arkansas; Costa Mesa, California; East Hampton, New York; Oklahoma city, Oklahoma; Willow Grove, Pennsylvania and Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as Knowlton and Vancouver in Canada.
AWARDS AND COMMISSIONS
In addition to his dual Coty Hall of Fame Status and Three special Coty Citation for Contributions to American Fashion, Mr Lauren’s other designs include : The Tommy Award(1971), The Council of Fashion Designer of America Award(1981). The Getlement’s quarterly Manstyle Award(1982), The Cutty Sark Career Achievement Award(1983) and The neckwear Association Special Achievement Award(1985). In 1986, Polo/Ralph Lauren was honored at the Fashion Video Awards for the Best Retail Store Concept Video and Best Children’s Video. In recognition of the impact Mr. Lauren’s Madison Avenue store has had on retailing, he was named Retailer of The Year for 1986 by The Council of Fashion Designers of America, the first ever to receive this Award. Then in 1988, Mr. Lauren received a Founders Award from The National Association of Display industries for his contribution to retailing business. In May 1989, Mr. Lauren accepted The Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement.
Mr. Lauren is also involved wit number of charities, including launching Madison Avenue Christmas for Children Day, during which designated stores, including the Polo/Ralph Lauren Madison Avenue store, donate 20 percent of sales to benefit charities which assist needy children. In 1988, Mr. Lauren also participated in The New York Library’s fundraising events, for which he created a tableau entitle”The American West” which showcase the library’s collection of drawings and lithograph from the 1800s. In the Fall 1988, Mr. Lauren was honored at a benefit dinner by the Museum of American Folk Arts for his contributions to fostering excellence in American style. In conjunction with this event, Mr. Lauren took a leading position in raising funds to build new exhibit space and a headquarter building for the museum.
In 1989, Mr. Lauren united the fashion industry to support Brest cancer research. Through a personal contribution and fundraising, Mr. Lauren successfully launched the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research at the Lombardi Cancer Research Center at Georgetown University’s medical complex in Washington, D.C. The Center is Named for Nina Hyde, the fashion editor of The Washington Post, in recognition to her contributions to cancer research. Mr. Lauren also takes time out to accept a few design project, including costuming all the male Actors in “The Great Gatsby “(1973 and Woody Allen and Dianne Keaton in “AnnieHall”(1971).
In 1978, Mr. Lauren designed a uniform program for Trans World Airlines(TWA) that is still in use today.
With Demanding work schedules, Ralph Lauren prefers to lead, personal life with his family – his wife Ricky and their three children. They enjoy jogging around the Central Park reservoir near their upper Fifth Avenue apartment in New York City and active weekends at their Colorado ranch.