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Ralph Lauren is the iconic America fashion designer of our time and his 17,000-acre RL Ranch creates a lifestyle that goes far beyond the design of clothes and furniture.

Ralph Lauren’s ranch creates an authentic Old West atmosphere that blends natural beauty with classic comfort.

Born on October 14, 1939 in the Bronx, New York Ralph Lifshitz became interested in clothes at 12 years old while working part-time in New York department stores and saved his money to buy clothes.

He changed his Jewish surname to Lauren in the mid-1950s and when he graduated from high school worked as a salesman at the same time studying business at night.

He quit school after just a few months, then spent time in the army and there began working in fashion.

In 1967 Lauren was hired by Beau Brummell Ties as a tie designer.  His wide, colorful ties were the opposite of the narrow dark neckties common at the time, which sold well and started a new trend.

Lauren began his own company and the following year launched a line of men’s clothing called Polo, offering styles that were a mix of English and American styles that sold the image of class.

After a successful menswear launch, he introduced a women’s line in 1977, then after his initial success, Ralph continued to branch out into children’s clothes, colognes, footwear and home merchandise.

Lauren’s take on life is straight up American.   His houses like his clothes have the patina of time and are timeless classics.

The thing that seems to have inspired him most, the rich at leisure, is a well-orchestrated look of perfection.

One visit to any Polo Ralph Lauren section of a store and you get the look and feel of an English club with casual perfection.

Lauren has the ability to envision an idealized world of class and persuades others to buy into the American image more than any other fashion designer in history.

His images speak volumes, but more importantly Lauren not only believes in his vision, but lives it.

His idea of living well is, like his designs, is based on a culture he creates.

There is the elegant apartment one Fifth Avenue

a sprawling estate in Bedford, New York

an oceanfront home in Montauk, Long Island

a villa at Round Hill, Jamaica

and the RL ranch in Colorado

He is a collector of exotic, vintage cars, which allows him to indulge in his fondness for beautiful things.

As an icon, Lauren changed the way people dressed by designing the costumes for the films The Great Gatsby (1973) and Annie Hall (1978).

Lauren said, “I believe in clothes that last, that are not dated after just a season. The people who wear my clothes don’t think of them as fashion.”

Lauren’s vision is to represent American style with a dash of British elegance using the comfort of natural fibers.

Lauren lives the lifestyle he projects and is the first designer to appear in his own advertising.

One of the secrets of Lauren’s success is his attention to detail, always checking product quality and maintaining tight control over the brand he carefully crafts.

Lauren has earned numerous honors from his peers, with seven Coty design awards and was inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame in 1986.

The same year he made fashion retailing history with in the elegant former Rhinelander Mansion in New York.

John Fairchild, chairman of Women’s Wear Daily, called it “The best boutique in America, probably the world.”

In 1992 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of American Fashion Designers and Designer of the Year in 1996, but nothing compared to designing the wedding dress for his daughters wedding.

In 1995, he began two new ventures: selling blue jean and mass-marketed women’s clothing.  Both brought Lauren new customers at lower prices and were instant hits.

In 1996 Lauren’s Home Collection hit $535 million in sales world-wide, more than any other fashion designer at the time.

Laurens home furnishings are so dazzling that his clothes aren’t the focal point.

When you finally notice them, the message has already registered that this is how life is supposed to be.

By 1997 investment bankers were fighting for the opportunity to help Lauren take his company public on the stock market.

Consumers were dazzled, spending over $5 billion a year by 1997 to have the Lauren look.

In 2012, Ralph Lauren store revenues are expected to rise to $857 million as the company opens new stores and grows its online operations.

Ralph Lauren is an old world relaxed style that is beautiful because it is effortless and yet familiar.

A world of an upper-class life, arranged with family photographs, leather chairs and graceful antiques, he reminds the world that in America it’s possible for anyone to be rich, or at least afford the symbols of a good life.

He looks at the big picture of living and creates an atmosphere of effortless beauty and grace.

While most designers changed the course of fashion history, such as Coco Chanel with her Jersey material, Ralph Lauren is the first to transform the world by not doing anything new at all.

He was the first to capitalize on making things simple and natural, while aspiring not to transform fashion, but create a familiar past.

Lauren’s version of American design is the canvas overnight bag, the polo shirt and the classic navy blazer that are all symbols of upper-class American lifestyle.

Lauren’s invention of the classic American style is recognized by the entire world today.

He has succeeded beyond his wildest dream.