Ralph Lauren: Fashion Designer

Raph LaurenRalph Lauren is an accomplished and highly successful American fashion designer famous for his Polo and Ralph Lauren fashion empire that he built up on his own. He is the epitome of classic elegant fashion especially those for men. He creates a variety of fashion lines that target men and women as well as a number of products for homes.  

Ralph Lauren was born Ralph Lifshitz in Bronx, New York on October 14, 1939.  He was born to Jewish parents Frank and Fraydl Lifshitz. Ralph’s father made a living as a house painter so the family had to make do with what little Frank earns to go through day by day. 

Ralph also had three older brothers and all of them learned to work at a very young age. Ralph worked after school in order to buy fashionable suits that he preferred wearing, a sign of his love for fashion. The way he dressed in his school soon built him a reputation among his schoolmates.

In school, Ralph Lauren was known to have sold ties to his classmates and fellow students, showing some hints of his enterprising spirit that would someday make him successful. Even then, he showed great ambition as he has stated on his high school yearbook that he wanted to be a millionaire. By the time he reached 16, his brother Jerry changed their last name to Lauren from Lifshitz, although his brother Lenny still used their former last name years later.

Ralph Lauren attended Baruch College after graduating from high school and took up Business. He took night classes while working during the day for a couple of glove companies as a salesman. Two years later, He dropped out and instead served in the US Army from 1962 to 1964. After his discharge from the service in 1968, he went on to marry Ricky Low-Beer.

Ralph Lauren eventually came to work for a tie manufacturer called A. Rivetz and Co. where he started designing wide ties. His entrepreneurial spirit later led him to found Polo Fashions in 1968 armed with his tie designs and a $50,000 loan.

Along with his brother, they were able to build a fashion empire that has since spread out to creating a wide variety of fashion products.  It was Ralph Lauren’s talent for innovation that allowed the company to grow and become successful through the years. Not being able to go through fashion school did not deter him from becoming one of the most recognizable names in fashion.

Ralph Lauren started with designing ties and then moved up to creating a sophisticated line of men’s shirts and suits made from fine quality fabrics. Polo became known in the 80’s as the style of choice for men’s fashionable clothing. Ralph Lauren then went on to create a fashion line for women and eventually added a home collection that included furniture, sheets and towels.

The success of his business went on to make his name and the Polo label one of the most notable and revered names in fashion. Today, Ralph Lauren runs a $900 million fashion empire that operates over 200 retails stores in the US and a hundred others worldwide.

Image Source: Wikipedia

 
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