• Iconic designer Ralph Lauren was
born Ralph Lifshitz in New York City
on October 14, 1939. Lauren worked
in retail before developing a line
of neckties. The brand he
established, Polo, is now one part of an
empire that includes fragrances, home
furnishings and luxury clothing. Lauren has
used his personal fortune to amass a
collection of rare and classic cars.
• Lauren was born Ralph Lifschitz in Brooklyn, New York.
Fascinated with fashion from an early age, he dropped out of
college and apprenticed in the fashion industry by working at
various clothing companies. In 1967 he got a job at Beau
Brummel, designing the wide neckties in bright colors for
which he would first become famous. By 1968 he launched
his own line of men's clothes, which he called Polo. With the
name Polo, Lauren said much about his design philosophy.
The game of polo was associated with rich Europeans, and
Lauren's designs came from classic European traditions. Often
referred to as "preppy English tweed" style, or "American
country" style, Lauren's early designs, which included a
variety of casual and semiformal wear, were updated versions
of basic designs, sewn in classic materials, such as wool tweed
• Besides his clothing, Lauren made other
contributions to the fashion world. He licensed his
designs (sold the right to manufacture them) to a
range of clothing companies as long as the clothes
bore his name, and he also branched out into many
different areas of design. Following the success of
his men's clothing line, Lauren introduced a line of
women's clothes, followed by
cosmetics, perfumes, bath towels, bed sheets, and
even house paint, all with the unmistakable Lauren
quality of traditional elegance. Though some have
accused Lauren of being unoriginal and
boring, many men and women find his designs to
be comfortable and dependable. Other famous
designers, such as Donna Karan (1948–) and Bill
Blass (1922–2002), have praised Lauren for his
contributions to classic style.
• Another side of Lauren is seen in his Roughwear
clothing. Directly inspired by the tradition of America's
past, Roughwear takes the form of long tweed or plain
skirts combined with colorful, hand-knitted, Fair Isle or
sampler sweaters, tartan scarves, trilby hats, and
lumber-jack's wind cheaters and brushed cotton shirts.
The origins are easy to trace, but the result is an
updated, truly American style. Romantic touches of
Edwardian and Victorian times occur in lace-trimmed
jabots and large collars delicately held together with
aging cameo brooches. Shades of the classic English
riding costume appear in his tailored tweed jackets.
Lauren's contribution to fashion can perhaps best be
summed up on the names that he gave to his cosmetics
introduced in 1981: Day, Night, and Active.
Ralph Lauren Logo
• The iconic Ralph Lauren logo depicts a polo horseman. It
started appearing in New York City newspapers in early
1974. The Ralph Lauren logo gives a very clear perception of
the rich, proud American look and tradition. The emblem is
a prime example of an expressive logo that evokes feelings
of pride, elitism and the spirit to enjoy the lifestyle-oriented
• The Ralph Lauren logo has become one of the most popular
logos in fashion and is trademarked in more than 100
Color of the Ralph Lauren Logo:
• The two basic colors in the Ralph Lauren logo; white and
black, are representative of elegance, prestige and
refinement of the brand.
Lauren's ties appear in Neiman
Marcus and other department stores.
The designer branches
his first women's line and
opening his first store in
The Polo shirt is born.
The Great Gatsby, with costumes by
Lauren, sparks a Jazz Age fashion
Lauren designs clothes for both
Diane Keaton and Woody
Allen in Annie Hall.
The city boy goes cowboy with
his "Westernwear" collection.
Polo Ralph Lauren opens its first
international store, on London's
Lauren continues to diversify
his athletic-inspired designs.
The company makes inroads in
the denim market with its
The Polo flag sweater is
Lauren tees off with Polo Golf.
The company runs its influential
"University Club" advertisements.
The designer introduces Double
RL, a line of casual wear named
after his Colorado ranch.
Polo Sport launches.
Lauren unveils Purple
Label, his take on classic Savile
Polo Ralph Lauren goes public
on the New York Stock Exchange.
The launch of Project
G.I.V.E., the company's attempt
to promote volunteerism.
As an official sponsor at the U.S.
Open, Lauren supersizes his logo.
Polo is named the first official
outfitter of Wimbledon. Boris Becker
models a jacket.
Polo sponsors its first-ever polo
team, the Black Watch.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy
tries Polo Sport on for size.
In 2010, Ralph Lauren was declared Chevalier de
la Legion d'honneur by French President Nicolas
Sarkozy in Paris.