Born Ralph Lifschitz in the Bronx, New York, Ralph Lauren was always interested in fine clothing and style. From a young age, Ralph worked odd jobs so that he could buy new clothes. In his high school yearbook, he stated under his picture that his wish was to be a millionaire.
After attending business college and serving in the U.S. Army, Ralph Lauren worked at Brooks Brothers as a tie salesman. With no formal training in fashion design, he opened his own necktie specialty store in 1967, selling ties of his own design under the brand “Polo.” Shortly thereafter, he began making a menswear and women’s wear line under the Polo label. In 1972, Lauren released the now–famous Polo short sleeve mesh shirt with the Polo logo, which is a modern American classic.
From the 1970s until today, Ralph Lauren has continued to expand his signature lines as well as the Polo brand. He has also expanded retail operations with sales in major department stores and boutiques, as well as 35 company-owned stored throughout the United States. During these 40 years, Ralph Lauren has secured his place as the quintessential American designer with unparalleled success and recognition of the brand worldwide.
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