Ralph Lauren embodies everything exceptional about American fashion. The classic well-tailored styling of items bearing his name symbolize quality and value. Even in the secondary market, his items sell remarkably well. Some items may sell for more than their original retail price as there are also many collectors of RL items. If you purchase a vintage item with the Ralph Lauren name you can be assured it will stand the test of time and will be in your collection for years.
Born Ralph Reuben Lifshitz on October 14, 1939 in The Bronx, New York. He graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in 1957. Lauren went to Baruch College at the City University of New York (CUNY) where he studied business.
Ralph grew up playing basketball and baseball. He wanted to be Joe DiMaggio or perhaps a movie star. Lauren often draws inspiration from his heroes including the likes of Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, and John F. Kennedy.
From 1962 to 1964 he served in the United States Army, afterwards, he worked briefly for Brooks Brothers as a sales assistant before becoming a salesman for a tie company. At 28 years-old, Lauren worked for the tie manufacturer Beau Brummell, where he convinced the company's president to let him start his own line which in 1967 became The Ralph Lauren Corporation. Today the Ralph Lauren Corporation is a global multi billion-dollar enterprise.
- · First lady Melania Trump wore a pale blue dress designed by Lauren for her husband’s Inauguration.
- · Ralph Lauren designs have been sported by the USA Olympic team (from 2008 through 2020) and the cast of the TV show Downton Abbey.
- · Ralph’s first woman’s collection for Ralph Lauren Polo was launched in 1971 in Beverly Hills, California.
- · Working at Ralph Lauren is a rite of passage for many designers who go on to become successes themselves. Former employees include Vera Wang, Tory Burch, and Michael Bastian.
- · Lauren has three restaurants: RL Restaurantin Chicago, Ralph's in Paris and the Polo Bar in New York.
- · In 1996 Lauren was presented the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research's first Humanitarian Award by Princess Diana.
- · In April of 2001, he establishes the Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation, which supports causes including cancer care and prevention, educational and literacy programs, volunteerism and preservation and restoration efforts.
- · In 1998 Ralph Lauren donated $13 million to the Smithsonian to help preserve the flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner.
- Today, his collection of more than 70 cars is perhaps the highest-valued in the world, estimated by Forbes to be worth at least $300 million.