Credited as the American designer, in 1967 Ralph Lauren got his start by opening a necktie store in New York, selling ties of his own design under the “Polo” label. By 1970, he had won the COTY award for menswear design. (The COTY award was established to promote and celebrate in American designers, and was distributed from 1943 – 1984. The awards were credited with bringing America to the international fashion scene).
Now also known for women’s wear, children’s clothing, accessories and home, the Ralph Lauren empire spans multiple collections including Rugby, Polo, Ralph Lauren Black Label, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Polo Sport and others.
Over the years Ralph Lauren has established itself as the ‘All American’ fashion and lifestyle empire. In 2010 Ralph Lauren unveiled one of their largest stores in the world, Polo Ralph Lauren on the Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris, complete with the launch of the brand’s first-ever restaurant named Ralph’s.
Ralph Lauren’s success has impacted the fashion industry to such an extent that the designer is praised the world over. “I have always admired and respected Ralph Lauren. He is to me the ultimate American designer, as he made true American style, not just fashion, accessible to everyone in the world.” -Karl Lagerfeld (Vogue, June 2010)
Photo Credits: Ralph Lauren Purple Label Ad Campaign