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The Legacy of Ralph Lauren: A Review of the Life and Career of an American Fashion Icon

American review

By Shivam Maddheshiya Published 7 months ago 3 min read
The Legacy of Ralph Lauren: A Review of the Life and Career of an American Fashion Icon
Photo by Alejandro Luengo on Unsplash

Ralph Lauren is a legendary figure in the fashion industry, known for his preppy, classic style that has come to define American luxury. With a career spanning over five decades, Lauren has created a brand that is synonymous with high-quality, timeless design that has appealed to generations of customers. In this review, we will take a closer look at the life and career of Ralph Lauren, his signature style, and the legacy he has created.

Early Life and Career

Ralph Lauren was born Ralph Lifshitz in the Bronx, New York, in 1939. The youngest of four children, Lauren grew up in a working-class family and attended public schools. Despite his humble beginnings, Lauren always had an interest in fashion, and he began to develop his sense of style at an early age. As a teenager, Lauren worked in a tie store, where he began to experiment with different styles and patterns.

After completing high school, Lauren briefly attended Baruch College before dropping out to serve in the Army. After his discharge, Lauren worked a series of odd jobs before landing a job as a sales assistant at Brooks Brothers, the iconic American clothing brand. It was during his time at Brooks Brothers that Lauren began to develop his own sense of style, drawing inspiration from the classic, preppy look that the brand was known for.

In the 1960s, Lauren began to experiment with designing his own clothing, starting with a line of men's neckties. He launched his own company, Polo Fashions, in 1967, and the following year, he introduced a full line of menswear under the brand name Polo Ralph Lauren. The line was an immediate success, with its classic, timeless designs appealing to a wide range of customers.

Signature Style

Ralph Lauren's signature style is characterized by a classic, preppy aesthetic that is rooted in American heritage. His designs often feature traditional fabrics and patterns, such as tweed, herringbone, and plaid, and he is known for his use of bold colors and patterns. Lauren's clothing is designed to be both elegant and comfortable, with an emphasis on quality craftsmanship and attention to detail.

One of Lauren's most iconic designs is the polo shirt, which he introduced in 1972. The shirt, which features the polo player logo, has become a staple of American fashion and is worn by men and women of all ages. Lauren's designs are also known for their versatility, with many pieces able to be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.


Ralph Lauren's impact on the fashion industry cannot be overstated. He has been a major influence on American fashion, helping to define the concept of American luxury and creating a brand that is instantly recognizable around the world. Lauren's designs have been worn by countless celebrities and politicians, including Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

In addition to his contributions to fashion, Lauren has also been a philanthropist, supporting a wide range of charitable causes. He has donated millions of dollars to cancer research and treatment, and he has also been a major supporter of the arts, funding the restoration of historic landmarks and supporting cultural institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.


Ralph Lauren is a true American icon, whose timeless designs and classic style have made him a household name. His impact on the fashion industry has been immeasurable, and his influence can be seen in the work of countless designers who have followed in his footsteps. Whether you are a fan of his clothing or simply appreciate his contributions to American culture, there is no denying the lasting legacy of Ralph Lauren.


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