For many, Ralph Lauren is the epitome of preppy luxury and a distinguishable polo shirt, but for Lauren it was in 1967 when the brand took its first steps.
After Lauren himself worked in sales and spending years with well-dressed and modern clients he came to the realisation there was a gap in the market for a certain type of menswear which he specialised in – neckties. Lauren then worked in New York and created the brand polo to release the designs.
Through his copious labels, such as ‘Chaps’, the ever famous ‘Lauren Ralph Lauren’, ‘Polo by Ralph Lauren’, and ‘Ralph Lauren Purple Label’ just to name a few, the designers influence goes far and wide, even influencing other designers, from Jason Wu to Tommy Hilfiger, who push the boundaries within the industry whilst still being influenced by American fashion.
Ralph Lauren pulled from his interest in sports, naming his first line of menswear ‘polo’ in 1968 after working out of a showroom in the Empire State Building and hand delivering his garments to stores himself. Just one year later Bloomingdale’s sold Ralph Lauren’s line exclusively.
In 2015 Ralph Lauren stepped down as CEO of the fashion empire he had built over the last 50 years, he stayed on however as the chief creative officer to ensure the success of the fashion house he had worked so hard on throughout the years.
In honour of the fashion mogul’s 81st Birthday coming up, us at ‘Platform’ take a look back on some of his best and most iconic collections, from his first polo shirt to his fall 2020 line.
The Birth of The Polo Shirt
The iconic polo player logo was introduced as a motif in 1971, and the renowned short-sleeve polo shirt was released in 1972 in 24 colours. 48 years later the beloved polo shirt is still a world favourite in the collection.
Ralph Lauren in Kensington Palace
Kate Middleton has always been beloved by the public and has been setting trends since her wedding to Prince William in the summer of 2011. Since then various websites keep track of who she is wearing and all the details for purchasing for her loyal fan base, such as dresslikeaduchess.com. The Duchess of Cambridge can be seen wearing Ralph Lauren in Battersea park whilst talking with parents about the Covid-19 pandemic.
For the outing Kate kept things simple and stylish with a Ralph Lauren Nadalia puff sleeve top, the top itself has a square neckline and is a simple cotton blend being a staple in any royals wardrobe, once again showing how Lauren is iconic.
Ralph Lauren takes the Upper East Side
Spotted : Blake Lively, once again showing the correct way in which to wear a pantsuit. The one in question this time is from Ralph Lauren’s Fall 2017 collection. The actress stunned in the three piece menswear inspired suit including a coat, suit jacket and tailored trousers, all in grey plaid. Lively wore the coat over the shoulders giving us a closer look at the jacket underneath… and we love it.
Blake paired the suit with a white shirt, pocket squares and a burgundy tie, complimenting the burgundy boot adding height making the look more feminine, the cropped trouser and slim fit subtly contribute to a feminine twist on the look.
The actress once again showed her style by pairing the suit with a Michael Kors satchel and burgundy accessories – if only we got to see Serena Van Der Woodsen wear this iconic look on screen. Maybe in the ‘Gossip Girl’ reboot, HBO?
The One Where Ralph Was In Friends
It was in the sixth season of ‘Friends’ when Rachel Green, played by Jennifer Aniston, worked at Ralph Lauren, and although this may not be an iconic look produced by Lauren himself, this is an iconic moment in itself. And as every true Friends fan knows, Rachel Green’s wardrobe is one of the best parts of the 10 series long show, the character helped define some top trends through the shows decade long run, as well as haircuts.
Now, we finally get to shop Rachel’s iconic style for ourselves with the 2019 release of the Ralph Lauren x Friends collection. The collection itself includes a range of Rachel-esque clothes, from ribbed turtlenecks, to leather jackets and miniskirts, this collection fulfils all of our 90s friends fantasies.
Ralph Lauren Shuts Down the Met Gala
The Met Gala’s 2018 theme was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Actress Priyanka Chopra shut down the Met Gala when she hit the runway with a Ralph Lauren deep burgundy velvet gown paired with an incredible gold beaded hood, which she wore with Cartier jewellery.
Ralph Lauren’s instagram page shared intricate details about the gown and gave us a close up look at the stunning piece worn on the red carpet. It was revealed that Chopra’s hood was a custom piece that had taken over 250 hours to hand bead, and that the ornate piece was made from red Swarovski crystals. Lauren was once again proving his ability to stay timeless and forever iconic.
Ralph Lauren has proved over the last 50 years his dedication to fashion and his influence will always be recognisable within other fashion houses. We can only eagerly wait to see what iconic look he brings out next!
By Ellie Daglish