Posted on April 15th, 2008
It’s pretty well known that Lauren got his start in the industry by designing and selling neckties, but most people don’t know that he was the most stylish kid on the block since he was 12, when he would use money from his after school job to buy expensive suits for himself. At the age of 29, Lauren took his tie designs and started Polo Fashions, choosing the name for the style, sophistication and class that the institution is well known for.
In the past 40 years, Polo Ralph Lauren has grown into a $900 million company selling men’s, women’s, children’s, and home fashions – all with that trademark blend of traditional equestrian (upper class horse back riding) style, society tea parties, and American Western influences. And let’s not forget that signature Polo tee that we all have in our closets!
Not only was he the first fashion designer to have his own store, but Lauren was the first to sell an entire lifestyle- the image of sophistication, class and taste, which consumers have swarmed to. And as with many things in fashion- it didn’t take long for other designers to “knock off” this successful strategy.
And of course, Ralph Lauren’s 40th anniversary runway collection was nothing short of amazing. Some of his signature looks (see above) played their roles in a story of English upper-class elegance that brings to mind scenes from My Fair Lady and an afternoon at the British Ascot (upscale British race course). The posh (upscale) collection began in black and white with models in ruffled evening gowns, tailored silk suits, and jodhpurs (wide hipped riding pants), then gave way to color- and lots of it! Floor length floral georgette gowns flowed down the catwalk, mixed with classy riding outfits in an outburst of bright and brilliant colors.