“What I do is about living – enjoying the fullness of life around you”
I like this guy’s style.
Further, I like that he embodies his vision better than any luxury designer I know. He has created a lifestyle brand that allows people to live the rugged luxury life with a little swagger and snazz.
Carrying lines in Men, Women, Children and Baby, Ralph Lauren has also made quite a name for himself in the Home world; not an easy transition for a fashion designer, but a seamless one for him with hands in the world of paint, carpet, bedding and home accessories that have the American and English inspirations and an intangible, indescribable quality where you just know the piece is “Ralph.”
Ralph Lauren was born in 1939 in the Bronx; the third of four siblings. His parents Frieda and Frank were Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants who had fled Belarus. He grew up in the Mosholu Parkway area. At the age of 16, Ralph and his brother Jerry changed their last name to Lauren after having been teased at school; I hate to say this, but who is laughing now?
Ralph was known for his love of fashion growing up and recalls inspiration from celebrities Fred Astaire and Cary Grant.
He studied business at Baruch for two years and then began a career in sales at Brooks Brothers. His first full line of menswear, inspired by his love of sports was a brand you may have heard of; ‘Polo’ established in 1968. In 1971 Ralph Lauren entered women’s apparel with tailored shirts.
During the 1970s Lauren made his foray into the film styling cast members for the 1974 film adaptation of ‘The Great Gatsby’. Lauren also received credit for helping to outfit the cast of 1975’s ‘The Wild Party’. The designer then became well known for styling Diane Keaton’s distinctive looks in the 1977 comedy ‘Annie Hall’.
Decades later, Lauren would be enamored by a show that wholeheartedly reflects his particular vision, the PBS series ‘Downton Abbey’.
He created a fall collection inspired by the show and sponsored its final season of ‘Downton Abbey’ in 2016.
Lauren entered the fragrance world in 1978 and in 1986 opened his first flagship at 72nd Street and Madison Avenue in the historic Rhinelander Mansion.
In 1997 Ralph Lauren went public on the New York Stock Exchange and in 1999 Lauren opened a restaurant at his Michigan Avenue stores in Chicago. In 2010 he opened one restaurant at his Paris store and in 2015 one in New York.
He has designed Olympic uniforms, and is co-founder of Georgetown University’s Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research.
Is there anything this man cannot do?
I have to say the answer is “No” as it seems he does everything, and does it well.
Ralph Lauren Home Collection
Mr. Lauren’s home collection entered the market in 1983 and from then to now has consistently bridged seasonal style with classic designs. The inspiration is from English Country Estates and includes natural texture and tones, with some faded florals or bold stripes. Some designs reign more urban in design, but somehow, one always knows when a piece is “Ralph.” The line includes bed and bath linens, china, crystal, silver, lighting, furniture and accents.
His home collection has one piece that I fell head over heels in love with and had to share with Alphaluxe readers. Drumroll please…
The Paxton Mixology Box
For $4,995 and inspired by Mr. Lauren’s collection of rare Bugattis, this box combines a wood and leather interior to house the ultimate tools in cocktail making.
Crystal glasses, leather coasters and vintage car logos allow you to bring the luxury bar experience in to your home where you can dress up or enjoy a cocktail in your jammies.
The set includes a 24% lead crystal decanter and four double-old-fashioned glasses. Also included are pewter-plated brass cocktail picks (4), four coasters, a shaker, a strainer and a jigger. The set measures 13.3” L x 12.3” D x 15” T, making it an easy addition to your living room, den or pool room.
Bring a little bit of Ralph into your life with this beautiful piece! And, if you are lucky, bring Ralph into the home in whatever designs you choose…
Previous AlphaLuxe Ralph Lauren articles:
Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Editor with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. She has worked with PRADA USA Corp., Jurlique, Amore Pacific and the New York Daily News in management capacities including Marketing, Client Relations, Employee Relations and Training Management. She has authored and published the column, “Ask Angela,” featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. Her beauty advice has been featured in Shape and Fitness Magazines and CBS News.
She is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Writing. Angela also has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.
Angela is currently creator of Circuit Cosmetics, a Brand Ambassador for luxury beauty line, Patchology, an On Air Guest for QVC and blogger for www.thelaughinmommy.blogspot.com.
In her spare time you can find Angela running, spinning, practicing yoga or getting beautified. She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her Husband, Son, and Chihuahuas.