Sunday, June 12, 2011

Who do you wish you were? How about Ralph Lipshultz from the Bronx , New York, who cleaned dressing rooms at the clothing store? He is now one of the few iconic family men who has it all except his youth. He spends most of his time now on his property, a ranch in the Rocky Mountains. His bordering fence goes on for 30 miles in any direction. The 17,000 acre ranch just outside Telluride , Colorado is called Double RL for him and his wife.
Oh, he changed his name to Ralph Lauren. He first bought the ranch in 1982. He drives vintage Jeeps when not riding a horse. He has assorted log cabin guest houses and fully furnished and decorated teepees on the property. He decided that he needed a change from the business of New York City. For more than 4 decades Ralph Lauren has defined style.
He is the biggest selling designer on earth. His iconic polo ponies are recognized everywhere on the globe. He made the polo shirt what it is today. In 1967 he designed a tie and started his own company and called it Polo. Today the Ralph Lauren brand includes furniture, fragrance, fashion for children, and a restaurant called RL in Chicago. All the epitome of luxury. He is the official outfitter of the United States Olympic Teams, Wimbelton and the U.S. Open for Tennis. Today Ralph Lauren’s 12 billion dollar empire is stronger than ever with 452 stores in over 80 countries around the world.
When he was growing up, there weren’t any fashion designers. Along the way of hanging up returns in the clothing store he decided that he did not like most of the clothes he saw. He went to his boss with an idea to design a new men’s tie. Of course the boss laughed at him and told him “The world is not ready for Ralph Lauren” and told him to get back to work. He made the ties and took the samples to various stores. He chose the polo player as a logo because it represented an international sport that would appeal to everyone on the globe.
Now he is 71 years old and loves the ruggedness in his stylistic choices for the world to buy. His parents were Russian immigrants and poor. Now, he creates the American dream through his clothing choices for us to buy. As a young boy who was attending a camp one summer, he was chosen to be a leader of an activity. That simple act gave him the courage to produce for himself when Bloomingdales rejected his ties for display. Shortly, they copied his designs and displayed a poorer copy of his fabrics. They told him to narrow the tie and take his name off of it. He dug in and pulled his display out of the department store and then had the courage to start his own stores. Who would ever tell Bloomingdales to F--K Off at 26 years old.?
He made the polo shirt a part of everyone’s wardrobe. His name on anything is the image in your brain for ruggedness and quality. More than any single item more of an image. When he had his three children he went into cloths and products for children because he didn’t like the quality or look of what was currently being sold for them. He hated the polyester/ cotton blends in fabrics and brought back full cotton cloths . Closing the door on Bloomingdales was crazy but forced him to be confident and confidence grew as he sold more and more.
He has been married for 46 years and believes in the consistency of life. You make the clothes, clothes should not make you. The whole thing of a makeover is bull. He looks at a person and makes clothes for them and who they are. He says he is most proud of his family. He is proud that his brand has made a difference in people’s happiness and that his children are well adjusted and leading full lives themselves.

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