The America’s beloved fashion brand – that is what most people know about Ralph Lauren. The famous company which has started as a tie-making business has been in the industry since 1967. It was known to have been creating the most iconic menswear and outfitting famous personalities.
The Ralph Lauren brand today is known for creating premium lifestyle products including accessories, apparels, and fragrances. The company has numerous brand names under its roof which includes Chaps and Clubs Monaco, Polo Ralph Lauren, Lauren Ralph Lauren, and more.
Let us go over Ralph Lauren’s history of lifestyle-product making and the fascinating facts behind the brand.
Interesting Facts About Ralph Lauren
- Ralph Lauren’s original last name was Lifschitz, but it was his brother Jerry who changed it to Lauren
- Ralph Lauren’s son David was married to Lauren Bush, niece of the former U.S. President Bush. After the marriage, her name became “Lauren Bush ”
- The first products of Ralph Lauren were men’s ties
- Some of the Ralph Lauren Company’s designers who also established their own name in the fashion industry includes Vera Wang, Michael Bastian, and more.
- The menswear designer, actor, and painter, Greg Lauren is the son of Ralph’s brother, Jerry
- The black male supermodel Tyson Beckford got his biggest break in the fashion and entertainment world when he became the model of Ralph Lauren’s Polo shirt
- Ralph Lauren outfitted the Great Gatsby and leading man Robert Redford
- Ralph Lauren’s clothes were also featured in the iconic film, Annie Hall
- Ralph Lauren’s first men’s tie creations were made of old rags
- The company’s 37,000 square feet Chicago store is one of the largest in the world
- He served in the U.S. Army for two years and worked as a sales assistant for Brooks Brothers
- He is a fan of collecting vintage cars. His collection of 70 vehicles’ value is estimated to be more than $300 million. The list of his cars can be seen on the website dedicated to his collections
- He owns a Bugatti that is worth $40 million
Ralph Lauren History Timeline
1967: Ralph Lauren started his tie-making business at a single drawer inside the Empire State Building
1970: He was given the Coty Award for his menswear designs.
1971: Ralph Lauren opened his first owned Polo shop in Beverly Hills, California
1972: The classic Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt was introduced and became an overnight classic
1974: Ralph was contracted to provide outfits for the film Great Gatsby where he gained recognition
1977: Some of his clothes were featured in the movie Annie Hall
1978: The Polo fragrances for men and the Western Wear Collection were launched
1980s: Ralph and his wife Ricky bought 17,000 acres ranch in Colorado and named it Double RL Ranch
The company was also able to acquire the Rhinelander Mansion and renovated it to become the brand’s flagship store
1987: Ralph was diagnosed with brain tumor and has undergone surgery
1989: Ralph helped to establish the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research. The Polo flag sweater was also released in the same year
1994: They continued their expansion, and Goldman Sachs gave an investment and joined the company’s board
1997: The Ralph Lauren company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under “RL,” and sold 17.9 million shares
1999: The first Ralph Lauren restaurant was opened at Chicago adjacent to their store. The company also recorded a $5 billion fiscal revenue
This was also the same year when they bought the Canadian-based retailer Club Monaco
2005: The company partnered with the sports association, USTA
2006: The company became the first brand to supply outfit for Wimbledon players
2011: Ralph Lauren’s collection of Polo shirts were exhibited at the Musee Des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, France.
On the same year, the company announced of dropping off Polo from their brand name.
2015: Ralph Lauren stepped down as the CEO of the company but still remains the chairman with 82% of the voting rights
The Ralph Lauren Company currently has 144 retail stores worldwide and his son, David Lauren acts as the company’s chief innovation officer and the board’s vice chairman.