Ralph Lauren is an American fashion designer, philanthropist, and business executive, best known for the Ralph Lauren Corporation, a global multibillion-dollar enterprise.
Let’s find out some amazing facts about him!
1. Ralph Lifshitz was born October 14, 1939.
2. He was born in the Bronx, New York City, to Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants, Frieda (Cutler) and Frank Lifshitz, an artist and house painter, from Pinsk, Belarus.
3. Lauren was the youngest of four siblings – two brothers and one sister.
4. Lauren attended day school followed by MTA (now known as the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy), before eventually graduating fromDeWitt Clinton High School in 1957.
5. Lauren grew up playing basketball and baseball.
6. He wanted to be Joe DiMaggio, and then he wanted to be a movie star.
7. He constantly draws inspiration from his heroes including Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, and John F. Kennedy.
8. He went to Baruch College, at The City University of New York (CUNY) where he studied business, although he dropped out after two years.
9. He went to Baruch College where he studied business, although he dropped out after two years.
10. From 1962 to 1964 he served in the United States Army and left to work briefly for Brooks Brothers as a sales assistant before leaving to become a salesman for a tie company.
11. In 1966, when he was 26, he was inspired to design a wide, European-style necktie he had seen Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. wearing, but the idea was rejected by the company for which he worked as not being commercially viable.
12. He left to establish his own company, working out of a drawer in the Empire State Building, taking rags and turning them into ties.
13. He sold the ties to small shops in New York, with a major turning point when he was approached by Neiman Marcus, who bought 1,200.
14. In 1967, with the financial backing of Manhattan clothing manufacturer Norman Hilton, Lauren opened a necktie store where he also sold ties of his own design, under the label “Polo”.
15. He later received the rights to use the trademark Polo from Brooks Brothers, however, Brooks Brothers managed to retain its rights to the iconic “original polo button-down collar” shirt, in spite of Lauren’s Polo trademark.
16. By 2007 Ralph Lauren had over 35 boutiques in the United States. 23 locations carried the Ralph Lauren Purple Label, including Atlanta, Beverly Hills, Boston, Charlotte, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Costa Mesa, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu,Houston, Las Vegas, Manhasset, New York, Palm Beach, Palo Alto, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Short Hills, Montreal andTroy.
17. The Financial Times reported in January 2010 that the firm had revenues of $5 billion for fiscal year 2009.
18. On September 29, 2015, Ralph Lauren announced that he would be stepping down as Chief Executive, to be replaced by Stefan Larsson, the President of Gap’s Old Navy chain
19. On December 20, 1964, he married Ricky Anne Loew-Beer in New York City. Ricky is the daughter of an Margaret Vytouch, and Rudolph Loew-Beer. The two met six months earlier, in a doctor’s office where Ricky was working as a receptionist and on alternative days teaching dance.
20. They have three children, Andrew Lauren, David Lauren and Dylan Lauren.
21. In early 1987, Ralph Lauren was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. In April 1987 he underwent surgery to remove the tumor and made a full recovery.
22. He’s a massive fan of Downton Abbey – not surprising when you realise the 1920s are central to his design world.
23. Lauren designed the wardrobe for the 1974 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, kitting out Robert Redford in that famous pink suit.
24. The Ralph Lauren Polo shirt – first introduced in 1972 – is now a classic for the brand. Its tiny embroidered polo player on the chest is one of fashion’s most recognisable logos, ripe for copyists.
25. The Yolo polo – a homage that substituted the polo player for an image of Drake – went viral last year.
26. A possible birthday present to himself might be a vintage car. Lauren collects them.
27. Ralph Lauren Polo t-shirts originally came in 24 colors.
28. In 2011, the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris displayed them – one-off Bugattis and Ferraris included.
29. His son, David Lauren, married Lauren Bush, the niece of George W in 2011. She is now called Lauren Bush Lauren.
30. The first product ever created by Polo Ralph Lauren was men’s ties.
31. A Bloomingdale’s buyer once asked a young Lauren to take his name off his ties and put their private label, Sutton East, on instead.
32. Working at Ralph Lauren is a rite of passage for many designers who go on to become successes themselves. Former employees include Simon Spurr, John Varvatos, Vera Wang, Todd Snyder, Tory Burch, Tim Coppens, Thom Browne and Michael Bastian.