Ralph Lauren – The man behind the polo horse


Ralph Lauren is one of the most famous and successful fashion designers in the world. His name stands for an elegant and sporty style that reflects the American way of life. His trademark is the polo horse emblazoned on his shirts, sweaters and jackets. But how did Ralph Lauren become what he is today? And what makes his fashion so special?

Ralph Lauren was born Ralph Rueben Lifshitz in New York on October 14, 1939. Even as a child, he was interested in fashion and sports. He changed his last name to Lauren to stand out from his classmates, who often teased him about his Jewish background. He attended Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy and DeWitt Clinton High School, where he also learned boxing.

After school, he first worked as a salesman at Brooks Brothers, a renowned men’s outfitter. It was there that he first came into contact with the classic English style that would later inspire him. He briefly studied economics, but soon dropped out to devote himself entirely to his passion for fashion. He served two years in the U.S. Army and in 1964 married his wife Ricky Low-Beer, with whom he had three children.

Lauren began his career as a fashion designer at the tie company A. Rivetz & Co. where he made his own designs. He convinced the general manager to give him his own line, which he named Polo. He chose this name because he saw the sport as a symbol of elegance and class. He designed wide and colorful ties that stood out from the narrow and boring models of his time. He sold them to exclusive stores like Bloomingdale’s.

He founded his own company, with which he also produced men’s clothing. He took his cue from the English landed gentry and the American West, creating a mix of traditional and modern elements. He used high-quality materials such as tweed, cashmere and leather and paid attention to details such as buttons, pockets and embroidery. He created a new look that was both casual and elegant.

In 1971 he expanded into women’s wear and presented his first collection. He designed feminine blouses, skirts and dresses in the same style as his menswear. He also introduced the famous polo horse, which became the logo of his brand.

He also opened his first boutique in Beverly Hills and began selling his fashions internationally. He became one of Hollywood’s most sought-after designers, dressing stars such as Robert Redford, Diane Keaton and Woody Allen. He also designed the costumes for several films such as “The Great Gatsby” (1974) and “Annie Hall” (1977).

Consent Management Platform by Real Cookie Banner