Ralph Lauren - Biography
Ralph Lauren (born Ralph Lifschitz on October 14, 1939) is an American fashion designer and business executive. "The first image-maker", according to New York magazine, Lauren is one of the fashion industry's biggest hitters. But Lauren studied business science and served his time in the army before breaking into fashion.
Lauren's empire was founded in 1967, after he opened his first ever tie shop, with no formal design training. Next came menswear and, in 1971, Lauren introduced his women's label. The chic, preppy look of his designer collections is now complemented by the whole gamut of sportswear, casualwear and home furnishings.
Lauren's fashion empire, which floated on the US stockmarket in 1997, now includes such brands as Polo Ralph Lauren, Polo Sport and the Ralph Lauren Collection. In 1999, the silver-haired designer broke into the "entertainment" business, too, with a walk-on part on TV sitcom Friends. He followed this up, at the beginning of the new millennium, by signing a landmark 30-year deal with NBC and two NBC affiliates to sell his designer "lifestyle" on the Internet, on TV and in print. "We dont only sell clothes," he said at the time, "we are selling a dream and a vision." Lauren is married to Ricky and home is Bedford, Connecticut.
Ralph and his wife, Ricky, have two sons and a daughter: Andrew, David, and Dylan. David is an executive at Polo Ralph Lauren. Dylan owns and operates an upscale candy store, Dylan's Candy Bar, at 59th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan. Ricky appeared on the television show Martha on December 6th, 2006 and stated that her son Andrew is in the "movie business". Lauren is the subject of several biographies (written by Jeffrey Trachtenberg, Michael Gross and Colin MacDowell). Lauren is also well-known as a collector of classic automobiles. His cars have won best in show at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance multiple times. His collection was recently displayed at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. By 2007 Ralph Lauren had boutiques in New York, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Boston, East Hampton, NY, Manhasset, Short Hills, NJ, San Francisco, Bal Harbour, and Honolulu.