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Ralph Lauren Timeline




Established in 1967 Ralph Lauren received almost instant success with an original arrange of unique ties quickly making Ralph Lauren a status item amongst fashion conscious men.  It was now that Ralph Lauren decides to name his line after a sport that he feels embodies both elegance and classic style: Polo.




1970 saw Ralph Lauren win his first of many Coty Awards (currently known as the Council of Fashion Designers of America, CFDA Awards) for Menswear.  It was here that he announced “I’m not a fashion person.  I’m anti-fashion.  I don’t like to be part of that world.  It’s too transient.  I have never been influenced by it.  I’m interested in longevity, timelessness, style – not fashion”




In 1971 Ralph Lauren launched a womenswear range featuring men’s tailored shirts for women.  The introduction of the women’s line coincided with the birth of the notorious polo player emblem.




It wasn’t until 1979 that Polo began advertising, but when they did they did it in style.  With an original 20-page spread full of vivid colour that projected the brand into American consciousness.  The advertising campaign was rather perilous with the innovative idea of opting for “normal” people to front their campaign e.g., a surfer and an architect over models.





In 1980 Ralph Lauren receives an amazing complement from New York Times architecture critic Paul Goldberger, who said that the true design symbol of the 1980s was not Philip Johnson or Robert Stern – but Ralph Lauren.





The year of 1986 saw Ralph Lauren open a flagship store located at the stunning Rhinelander Mansion on Madison Avenue at 72nd Street.  Not only did tourists visit this store to go shopping but also to experience the fantastic building.





 The nineties was a very productive decade for the Ralph Lauren Corporation which began with the collaboration between Ralph Lauren, the Washington Post and Vogue to provide joint sponsorship for the Super Sale.  The annual designer sale held in Washington, DC raised over $3.5 million for research at the Nina Hyde Centre and continued until 1998.





1992 was a great highlight for Lauren, when he was presented with the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award by a personal favourite of his, Audrey Hepburn.  This achievement meant that Ralph Lauren is the only designer to receive the CFDA’s four highest honours –




  • The Lifetime Achievement Award

  • The Womenswear Designer of the Year Award

  • The Menswear Designer of the Year Award

  • Retailer of the Year




    In 1994 Ralph Lauren and the CFDA found Fashion Targets Breast Cancer.  The International charity awareness campaign has risen over $10 million to date.





    Continuing their charity support Polo Ralph Lauren and Polo Sport the Fitness Fragrance became the title sponsors of the Polo Sport Race to Deliver, which serves hot meals to those suffering from AIDS/HIV.  This support continues to the present day.








    After over three decades of trading Ralph Lauren Media opens Polo.com website to coincide with the millennium.




    Following the horrific events of 9/11 the Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation established the American Heroes Fund, which provided the opportunity for all 10,000 employees of Polo, as well as their customers, the opportunity to participate in the relief effort.  Polo Ralph Lauren matched employee contributions dollar to dollar and donated 10 per cent of all sales made throughout the month of October.





    2002 marked the 35th anniversary of Ralph Lauren, which is now a $10 billion global business compiled of mens, womens and childrenswear.  The celebration was recognised worldwide throughout the media with coverage in Time magazine, interviews in Oprah magazine and receipt of Vogue/VH1 Fashion Awards Lifetime Achievement Award to name but a few.





    In 2003 the global success of Ralph Lauren was recognised with the introduction of Global.Polo.com, a series of websites localised by country.




    To date Ralph Lauren is going from strength-to-strength, not only do they have extremely successful mens, womens and childrenswear clothing lines, but they also provide a Home collection.  This Home collection sales everything from paint to vintage airstreams.




    Ralph Lauren’s timeline proves to be a great read, and I think that I can confidently say that he is an inspiration to many trying to crack the fashion industry.  For further information visit http://global.polo.com.





    Stephanie McLaughlin

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