Saturday, 16 April 2011

Ralph Lauren - Founder of "Polo Ralph Lauren"

Ralph Lauren
Here is the success story of a young man born with nothing who ends up at the head of an empire worth 4.2 billion dollars. The little embroidered polo player logo has become an external sign of wealth, seen on Wall Street and in Harlem, put there by the will of this self-made man.

Ralph Lipchitz(Lauren) was born in 1939 in the Bronx to Jewish immigrants from Belarus. His father was a building painter and his family struggled to make ends meet. Nevertheless, the young Lipchitz quickly developed a taste for luxury clothes and he as a teenager started working to buy himself expensive suits. He began dreaming of a glorious future. At the age of 16, Ralph Lipchitz changed his name to Ralph Lauren, although some say that he was denying his Jewish heritage, Ralph considered it necessary for success.

Ralph Lauren went to the City College of New York studying business, but dropped out after two years. After a stint in the Army he landed a job as a gloves salesman at Brooks Brothers. It was for them that he created the "Polo" label, but then he quickly decided to go into business for himself.

In 1967, Ralph took out a loan of $50,000 to buy back the name Polo and developed a line of neckties under the name Polo Fashion. His ties made a tiny revolution: they were different in fabric, width, and color and became the indispensable accessory for men looking for an up-to-date elegance. As Lauren explained, "At the time, men expressed themselves through their ties... a beautiful tie made it possible to simultaneously express quality, taste, and style."

In 1969, Polo by Ralph Lauren was the first men's label to be sold in the New York temple of luxury, Bloomingdale's. Encouraged by this success, Lauren decided in 1971 to launch a women's line in order to offer his wife the wardrobe that she wanted. That same year, the famous polo player logo appeared on the wristbands of shirts and the first Ralph Lauren boutique opened its doors in the luxury neighborhood, Beverly Hills.
The label took on another dimension, however, the following year with the launch of the polo shirts that today have become legendary, the key piece of the company, and a veritable timeless must-have. Ralph Lauren was in the process of becoming one of the most important lifestyle brands of the late 20th century.

The brand gradually began to export and boutiques flourished around the planet, the first of which was on Bond Street in London. New lines were also launched, like Ralph Lauren Home in 1983 and Polo Sport in 1993. Fashion became nothing more than one element among many in the giant Ralph Lauren company, which entered the stock market in 1997.

This enormous machine now generates millions of dollars and is gradually monopolizing an entire lifestyle. In 1993, Polo Sport became the official tailor of the America's Cup team and in 2005, the same for the US Open. To top it off, the designer was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the CFDA in 1992, followed by four other prizes.

In light of this history, Ralph Lauren's quote becomes clear: "We don't just sell clothes. We sell a dream and a vision of existence."

Ralph never attended fashion school, which didn’t hurt him any. He’s now worth $4.2 billion and that’s a lot of neckties.
Another Interesting aspect of Lauren's lifestyle:

Not many people know that Lauren also has a car collection to rival the likes of an Arab Sheikh. The native New Yorker is an avid car nut like many of us, only he has the means to afford most of the cars that we can only lust for.
Together with the Discovery Channel, Lauren has now opened the doors of his private collection to the public for a new documentary called Speed, Style and Beauty: Cars from the Ralph Lauren Collection

Some of the more notable vehicles in the collection include a Bugatti Veyron, an ultra-rare McLaren F1LM (one out of only five cars), one of the first supercharged Bentley's ever created and two Ferrari 250 Testa Rossas.

A Video of Ralph Lauren's Car Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.



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  2. i read it twice..very well presented ..above all it really generates the waves of inspiration!too good..keep it up!

  3. Ralph Lauren's clothes are wonderful and I own many. He made one unforgivable, indeed intolerable, mistake: shirts without breast pockets. People who wears glasses are punished heavily.

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