The world has heard several surprising stories of individuals starting off small and becoming big. These human beings have the passion and commitment towards becoming famous and wealthy even if they began from a tiny step. They work hard and acquire a high status. One such person is Ralph Lauren, who was born in New York on 14th October 1939. He is an American businessman and fashion designer. He is well-known around the world for his apparel brand, Polo Ralph Lauren. He also became eminent for his extraordinary automobile collection. In 2012, as per Forbes, Lauren stood at 162 in the world’s richest person list.
Lauren studied at the Baruch College, and at Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy (MTA) before graduating in 1957 from DeWitt Clinton High School. From a very early age, Lauren wanted to become a millionaire. While attending MTA, he was known by his fellow students for promoting and selling wearable ties.
His last name was actually Lifshitz, which he thankfully changed to Lauren at the age of sixteen. He said at Oprah Winfrey interview that his name included the word ‘shit’ and when he was young, children made fun of it. He was the youngest among the four children. His father painted houses for money.
For two years from 1962, Lauren provided his services to the United States Army and worked a while for Brooks Brothers as an assistant of sales before becoming a sales representative for a company that produced ties. In 1966, he came up with a design idea for neckties in a European style inspired by what Douglas Fairbanks Jr. once wore. Unfortunately, Lauren’s design was rejected. He then realized that in order to show the world his creativity, he needed to be independent. He resigned and establish his small personal company. He sold the designed ties to small New York stores. Neiman Marcus bought hundred dozen ties from Lauren and this deal benefited him tremendously.
In 1964, Ralph Lauren married Ricky Anne Loew-Beer. They have three kids: Andrew is an actor and film producer, David contributes to his father’s store and Dylan is the owns Dylan’s Candy Bar.
In 1967, Lauren opened a necktie shop, Polo, of his designs with the financial aid from Norman Hilton, an apparel manufacturer in Manhattan. In 1971, his shop expanded into a boutique in Beverly Hills. Prior to opening the boutique, Lauren received the COTY Award in 1970 for his menswear collection. In the same year, the Polo emblem was seen for the first time when Lauren released a unique collection of suits for women tailored in a classic style of men. The emblem was on the suits’ cuff.
In 1972, he fashioned his recognized Polo’s short sleeved shirt in twenty-four colors. He has designed outfits for movies, such as Annie Hall, and The Great Gatsby.
In 1987, Lauren found he had brain tumor which he recovered from in the same year after a surgery.
By the year 2007, Ralph Lauren owned thirty-five boutiques in America. In 2010, Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France declared Lauren as Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur.
The brand that Lauren established is now an empire which includes luxury apparel, home furnishing and fragrances. Ralph Lauren products have been noted for their quality worldwide. The man proved himself to be highly innovative and passionate about his work.