Ralph Lauren has been synonymous with style since the late 60s. After dropping out of Baruch College, where he was studying to earn a degree in Business, Mr. Lauren, then known as Ralph Lifshitz, began making ties. He sold them to area clothing retailers, and was subsequently approached by Neiman Marcus. It was straight up from there. His necktie line was hugely successful, and he was able to open his own store in Manhattan in 1967. He then opened a second shop on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and expanded his line to menswear, four years later.
His expanded men’s line led to demand for a women’s line, and suddenly, Ralph Lauren, now known as RL, was everywhere. Fast forward to 2013, and his company now has 35 boutiques around the United States, and the Polo Ralph Lauren brand is available around the world. The company is reportedly worth approximately $10.5 billion dollars. he was declared Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur by Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris. His clothing has also been featured in multiple films, including “The Great Gatsby” and “Annie Hall”. In addition to having great taste in clothes, he has also built a solid reputation as a car connoisseur. His collection is legendary, and he recently added a very nice Ruf CTR-3 to his garage.
Lauren has accumulated his net worth of $10.5 billion dollars largely through the extreme popularity of his various clothing brands, including most famously Polo Ralph Lauren. He was born Ralph Lifshitz, and changed his name due to his original name’s unfortunate obscene connotations in English. Not, as some have alleged, to escape his Jewish identity: “When I was a kid, the other kids would make a lot of fun of me. It was a tough name. That’s why I decided to change it. Then people said, ‘Did you change your name because you don’t want to be Jewish?’ I said, ‘Absolutely not. That’s not what it’s about. My cousins who lived in California had changed their last name to Lawrence. So I just thought, “I’m going to pick a nice last name”—it wasn’t particularly connected to anything or anyone.'” What would become the world-famous Polo brand was first seen in a line of shirts Lauren designed for women in the early seventies. Lauren had the innovative idea to design the women’s shirts in a style usually associated with men’s clothing, and the line was a huge success. Now, Ralph Lauren is one of the most famous and successful fashion designers of all time.
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