Ralph Lauren Biography

King in Fashion & Business?

If there’s something we’ve learned from designers over the years and during our reviews about luxury brands and their lives is that: If you want it, you can have it. 

Entrepreneurship doesn’t have to be about the usual ideas that move people today. Technology, food, or the traditional options you can think about don’t have to be the center of your business. 

If you don’t believe us or think that some ideas are only profitable when you follow the “regular channels,” let’s just have a look at people like Ralph Lauren and how he made his name big to this date. 

This entrepreneur was an icon, and along with his brand that continues to be at the top of the luxury market, you can learn a lot from owning your business and betting on what you like. 

Thus, we found interesting the idea of covering his life today and gave you some inspiration to maybe be the next big designer or find a new option for your own independent business. 

Name & Early Years: Becoming Ralph Lauren

We know you are familiar with Lauren and his name, but did you know this wasn’t his original one? 

Instead, you might want to get familiar with the Lifshitz surname from now on just for some culture and history and to have a better understanding of his life. 

Ralph Lifshitz was a New York City native, born on October 14, 1939, in The Bronx.

Frieda (nee Cutler) and Frank Lifshitz were his parents who were Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants from Pinsk, Belarus. Being the youngest of four siblings with two older brothers and one sister, he never shared much information about his childhood. 

We don’t know much about his family’s life, but it’s likely that they weren’t wealthy or poor since the four siblings were not raised with many difficulties but without luxuries as well. 

There are, however, details and reports about his education that help us get to the end of our search: The founding of the company.

Lauren attended the Manhattan Talmudical Academy and then transferred to DeWitt Clinton High School, where he graduated in 1957 with high honors.

Although he went up and attended a university, he dropped out of the University of New York after two years of Baruch College study.

But what does this have to do with his name? Not much, but the next detail does.

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Because of his English surname’s unfavorable (sexual) connotations, he changed it to Lauren from Lifshitz. 

He did make clear that he did not change his surname because of his Jewish identity or trying to escape from it but rather to avoid more bullying, just like during his childhood and teenage years.

He claimed that it wasn’t about him not wanting to be Jewish, but that he just wanted to make sure that the inappropriate connotations of Jewish life weren’t an issue in his life. 

Additionally, he desired to have “a nice name” after one of his cousins decided to change it for a “cooler” and more comfortable one. 

But How Was the Luxury Brand Born?

Focusing on the part of his life people are interested in the most, Ralph didn’t show a clear love for fashion until later years. 

After Lauren decided to skip college, he went up to serve in the United States Army from 1962 to 1964, which left him out of common life. 

When returning from his service period, Brooks Brothers was his first job. 

There, he worked as a sales associate and a tie salesman. Beau Brummell, the tie manufacturer for which he worked, encouraged him to create his own line and tie company when looking at Ralph’s talent for design and confectioning new pieces. 

Soon after, Ralph Lauren’s first men’s tie line was launched in 1967, and the brand with his name was officially established as well. 

Following the success of his tie’s line, Lauren was more than inspired to continue in this industry and wanted to grow in both fashion and design. 

As a result, Lauren released his first menswear collection in 1968, and this is when the popular line “Polo” Ralph Lauren was created with the characteristic of a short sleeve cotton shirt. 

This line was exclusively sold at Bloomingdale’s department stores in 1969 and was a huge success among men.

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He launched a line of tailored shirts for women with the Polo player emblem in 1971, following the success of men and him wanting to try a different audience. 

This was quickly followed by his 1972 first women’s collection thanks to the big success of the Polo shirts for them. 

During this time, his first Beverly Hills store was also opened on Rodeo Drive. This made him the first American clothing designer who had opened a standalone store in 1972. 

The brand’s famous cotton mesh Polo shirt, which was first introduced in 1972 with the Polo player logo at its chest, is now available in 17 colors and is part of the iconic designs of the brand to the point of imitations and other similar results being referred as them. 

With the success of the continuous clothing lines and how people loved each piece, Lauren decided to explore fragrances in 1978 to add more variety to his brand. 

The first Ralph Lauren fragrances were launched at Bloomingdales. These fragrances were called “Lauren” for women only, but “Polo” came out as well and was especially for men. 

The success of the new products was followed by the first European-freestanding store in London’s West End, England, in 1981.

The company grew steadily over the 1980s and 1990s with more than ten brands and lines, including “Lauren” Ralph Lauren from 1996, and other names or lines to bring more designs and variety to the company. 

Thanks to Lauren’s unique design and ideas and how people received his work, it was only natural for Ralph Lauren, the now very known luxury brand, to grow exponentially to how it is today. 

One of the main reasons why the brand became so popular relies on the fact that the “Polo” shirt has a timeless design that isn’t seen anywhere else. 

While we don’t think the rest are not as amazing, this is about Ralph Lauren and its authenticity in the market-based pm designs created by the founder himself. 

Ralph Lauren also made sure to put his personal touch into all the clothing and other collections and the fragrance and paint lines, which brought more familiarity and better results to connect with customers. 

This brand’s signature line focuses on luxury, high-quality sportswear.

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Designer’s style is known to be influenced by “Americana” and Wild West spirit, which includes lots of leather, suede, and denim, unlike what other fashion brands tend to use.

In 2000, the company was launched online under the domain name 

In 2007, it was relaunched under the domain name to cover all the lines and options and because the company has many other brands or more like extensions that bear his name. 

They also have a few more affordable and mid-range lines like Chaps, mainly at Kohls and Belk stores. 

The company also sells home goods and clothing. Additionally, Ralph Lauren Restaurants is a restaurant chain. 

The first one of the company, RL Restaurant Chicago, opened in 1999. Ralph’s opened in Paris in 2010, while Ralph’s Coffee opened in New York City in 2014. 

Next, The Polo Bar started to operate in New York City in 2015.

Lauren declared that he would be stepping down from his role as CEO in September 2015, and in November 2015, Stefan Larsson became the CEO. 

The 50th anniversary of Ralph Lauren’s brand was celebrated in 2018 with a special fashion show at Central Park, New York City, where Oprah Winfrey and Kanye West were among the notable guests along with Hillary Clinton. 

After all these years and while being 82 years old to this date, Ralph Lauren’s designer continues to be the man himself and as the chief creative officer who doesn’t allow anyone else, for now, to take major decisions about what is going to be shown to the public. 

Of course, he is one of the most popular designers in the fashion industry who has several stores with his brand, including one on Madison Avenue.

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How Much Does This Legend Make?

With a brand that is worth billions and considered one of the most expensive ones among luxury ones, what can you expect his net worth to be? 

Well, we were quite surprised to know that more than a simple billionaire, he surpasses this milestone by more than a million. 

Lauren’s current net worth stands at $7.2 billion according to Forbes and real-time tracking. 

His fortune comes from the founding, management, and work with his natural company, which has clearly brought millions since it expanded to other niches besides fashion. 

But besides the money earned from it, where do these $7 billion reside? Only in cash, his bank account, and the company? Not quite. 

Ralph Lauren has several properties. One of them is the 17,000-acre ranch in Colorado and a manor of 17,000 square feet in Bedford, New York. 

Also, he is known for being an avid car enthusiast and has about 100 cars and one of the biggest collections around the world.

Among his cars are a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO and multiple McLaren F1’s from 1996, a Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, a 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Mille Miglia, and a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing. 

His vast collection was displayed at numerous shows, including the 2005 Boston Museum of Fine Arts. With so many masterpieces and unique ones, it is valued at $400 million during 2021 and continues to grow based on inflation and more additions. 

This means that a lot of his money is invested in luxurious collections and items. However, the other billions continue to be part of the company as well as private business ventures managed by his children.

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About Charity: Does Ralph Lauren Use His Money for It?

Lauren is an eminent philanthropist, so you can bet he has been using his fortune for more than luxurious items and collections. 

Instead, he has been a supporter of many causes, including cancer research and treatment. 

He co-founded the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research at Georgetown University Hospital, Washington D.C., in 1989. 

In 2003, he established the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention in Harlem, and in 2016, he helped to open the Royal Marsden Ralph Lauren Center for Breast Cancer Research.

Many of the charities and foundations he supports are focused on relieving people lives who are suffering from cancer. 

However, many of his contributions also go to organizations for children, food, health research in other diseases, and even participated in some social events. 

Along with his long-time wife, Ralph Lauren has been a great contribution to organizations like Make-A-Wish Foundation and similar ones. 

The company also participates in philanthropist actions, including the most recent one of clothing donations for frontline workers and families. 

Ralph Lauren has made sure to donate about 1.5 million units of new clothing for those people and continues to donate funds directly for COVID-19 research and help those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic. 

Millions have been donated through other charities. With the current situation, both the brand and Lauren himself have compromised to continuously support those in need besides continuing to be a menswear designer and a womenswear designer. 

One of the main foundations from the designer directly is the Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation that follows the “Pink Pony Promise.”

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An Inspiration for Entrepreneurs

Ralph Lauren is one of those designers that is a great choice if you want to learn more about him to find inspiration for your fashion career or even any other entrepreneurship you have in mind. 

Of course, he would usually be a better source of inspiration for those who want to dedicate themselves to the same niche, but everything’s about perspective. 

We want you to pursue your dreams and discover new ways to make money or feel motivated enough to finally start your next journey. 

Thus, Lauren can be a great contribution, but we will also make sure to add a recommendation to boost your options available. 

To being with, fashion designing isn’t the only industry where you can make money.

Many other traditional businesses work, but if we have to give you a direct recommendation, you should try online options, such as renting websites.

This business model will allow you to make a lot of profit and fund your dreams in fashion without putting in a lot of work and sacrificing many years in the process. 

Or maybe just be an independent business owner and have this dream come true. 

How can we be sure that this works? We have done it.

This business model is focused on creating websites for small businesses and individuals who want to gain clients by using digital marketing. 

It’s your responsibility to find them and build their websites. This will allow you to generate leads and bring in clients for them. 

Although individuals and businesses can make websites themselves, it can be time-consuming and tedious. 

It is also important to have the right knowledge in order to make it work instead of relying on cheap strategies and options online that have preset templates or poor user experience because of how the sites were created. 

This is a great opportunity, as you don’t require an office or talent. It can be combined with future plans to finance them or consider it your main business option. 

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To get started, you will need a computer and a few hundred dollars in your bank account.

It is also crucial to be familiar with a few key points in order to make your venture a success.

This is our number one recommendation for training because it focuses solely on business fundamentals and shows how to get started without much money. You will make it before finishing the program. 

Do you feel too curious to skip it? These are the details you need!

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Written by Dame Cash

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