ICON OF STYLE: RALPH LAUREN

Ralph Lifschitz, better known as Ralph Lauren, was born in New York in 1939, son of a family of immigrants from Belarus. Around the age of sixteen, Ralph and his brother Jerry, because of numerous teased at school, changed their surname to Lauren, while the third brother, Lenny, has kept the family name. Ralph Lauren attended Baruch College in Manhattan, where he studied business for two years, has followed a brief stint in the army and an experience in retail world.

During his european honeymoon has seen models of ties with nodes much larger than normal and later, enthusiastic of the discovery, proposes to his Rivetz employer to create a line of ties that would combine modernity and tradition. Rivetz rejected the proposal, but Beau Brummel accepts and Ralph begins to design, develop and market the product. In 1967 comes the line of ties named “Polo” which began to be sold in some department stores, including Bloomingdale.

The designer has later expanded his designs to a full line of men’s clothing, that won the Coty award in 1970. Key event in the life of the fashion designer, which led him to launch womenswear line, consisting of tailored suits with a classic style. The men’s collection has proposed a break with the conventions of the time: classic and timeless, whose icon was Cary Grant. In 1972, Lauren has launched a cotton shirt-sleeved proposal in 24 colors, and this model, then decorated with the logo of the Polo player, has become the signature of the brand and a worldwide status symbol. Compared forefront, Ralph has always had very specific idea: fashion, one that changes each season, was born in the city; but the style, what remains generation after generation, comes from the countryside. The ideal woman of the designer has always been “a cosmopolitan woman, who speaks several languages, with a wealthy family behind.” Ralph has always drawn imagining his ideal American lifestyle, belonging to the Upper class, wealthy but not necessarily billionaire; good-looking, but not too much, always a little ‘tanned; with a solid family behind, a beautiful wife and a swarm of happy children.

Later, the brand has expanded including a luxury clothing line called Ralph Lauren Purple, a collection for home-furnishing called Ralph Lauren Home, and a fragrances collection. The brand is rapidly expanding between the years 1980 and 1990, with the opening of boutiques in United States and abroad, in fact, in 1984, opened the flagship store in New York: Rhinelander Mansion. The store is located on the corner of Madison Avenue and 72nd Street, is on five floors in the French neo-Renaissance style and materializes all the fantasies that have guided Lauren during his long career. You are greeted by oak hardwood floors, mahogany-paneled walls, vaulted ceilings with decorations, Waterford chandeliers, antique Cartier cabinets, art deco green glass panels and a gallery of ancient paintings that flank the central staircase, identical to that of the Connaught Hotel in London. Scattered here and there, walking sticks, bric-a-brac, vintage suitcases covered with stickers of historic hotels, old tennis rackets, fishing rods, as if you were in a real house, whose owners are preparing to load the trunk of their cars for a Sun Valley holiday.

Ralph has always pursued a dream of which, in the meantime, has become the protagonist: wineskin to have a beautiful wife and three beautiful children, is now owner of numerous estates including of course a ranch in Colorado, a villa overlooking the ocean in Jamaica and a enviable collection of vintage cars. Has accumulated a famous collection of rare and classic cars, including a 1930 Mercedes-Benz SSK Count Trossi known as “The Black Prince”. Ralph Lauren married Ricky Anne Low-Beer in New York City in 1964, the two have had three children: Andrew, David and Dylan. David, who married Lauren Bush, niece of former President George W. Bush, is the only one to have embarked on a career in Polo. Andrew is a film producer, while Dylan is the owner of Candy Bar in New York.

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