Ralph Lauren

An American publicly traded fashion company, founded in 1967 by Ralph Lauren

Categories

Fashion and Textiles  
Retail and Consumer Goods  

#1789

Rank

$8.18B

MarketCap US

US United States

Country

Summary

Ralph Lauren is the quintessential American Dream. The story of how a second-generation Jewish immigrant from the Bronx built his tie business into one of the world's largest fashion empires.. reportedly generating $7 billion a year. His genus lies in interpreting classic American style.. referencing Old West.. Golden Age Hollywood.. and Native American. Today Ralph Lauren Corporation is an American publicly traded fashion company headquartered in New York City with a portfolio ranging from apparel and accessories to a home line, furniture and fragrances. 


History

Born Ralph Lifshitz in 1939 to Jewish immigrants, Ralph Lauren is the youngest of four siblings. At twelve, he developed an entrepreneurial instinct and sold ties to fellow students — little did he know then this was the first step in his success story. The young boy undertook business studies at Baruch College- City University in New York and then served in the United States Army following which he worked at Brooks Brothers and Beau Brummell. In 1967 he convinced its president to let him start his own line "Polo". The handmade ties were wide and vibrant. Lauren worked out of a single drawer in a showroom in Empire State Building and made deliveries to stores himself. In his first year in business, he reportedly sold $500,000 worth of ties to high-end retailers Paul Stuart, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales.

Ralph Lauren's empire solidified with relative speed. The ties were such a hit that Bloomingdales encouraged him to design and retail a menswear line, "Ralph Lauren Polo." In 1968 he opened his menswear flagship on Madison Avenue in New York. His designs of gently tweaked classics – wide shirt collars, wider suit lapels – caught a fashion moment just as his vibrant ties inspired the “big tie” fad of the late Sixties. The following year he decided to embroider a Polo pony on a shirt and it became a worldwide imprint. Featuring the polo player logo on the chest of the solid coloured cotton shirts.. it became emblematic of the preppy look — one of Ralph Lauren's signature styles. He had conquered the prep.. the cowboy.. and the clean-cut looks. 

Per Vogue: His design signatures are more instantly and automatically recognizable than those of almost any other designer working today: classic, tailored, dashing, tweed-to-lamé looks that remind us of English aristocrats or New England blue bloods weekending in the country." In 1971 Ralph Lauren unveiled a women's line with the iconic Polo pony logo on the shirt cuffs and opened Polo Ralph Lauren on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. In 1974 he designed Robert Redford's look for "The Great Gatsby" and Diane Keaton's look for "Annie Hall" and cast himself in his own advertising campaign clad in distressed denim and cowboy boots. 

In the Eighties the first international Polo store opened in London, a store opened on Madison Avenue and 72nd Street in New York City and he was inducted into Coty Hall of Fame. "Polo Sport" was unveiled in 1992 followed by several lines and acquired brands including Ralph Lauren Purple Label and Lauren Ralph Lauren. In 1994 Goldman Sachs reportedly purchased twenty eight per cent of Polo Ralph Lauren for $135 million and on June 11, 1997 Ralph Lauren Corporation became a public company, traded on New York Stock Exchange. The first Ralph Lauren fragrances- produced by Warner-Lauren Ltd.- were launched at Bloomingdales in 1978. 

Ralph Lauren Corporation has 450+ stores worldwide. Per Vogue: "Today Ralph Lauren Corporation is worth more than $7.4 billion and although he stepped down as CEO in 2015 he remains executive chairman and chief creative officer and presides over every line: Ralph Lauren Collection, Polo Ralph Lauren, Purple Label, Double RL and more. There are 1,246 directly run Ralph Lauren stores and concessions globally, five restaurants, and numerous coffee shops."

Stefan Larsson replaced founder Ralph Lauren as CEO while Lauren. "Stefan brings something special" Lauren told WWD. "Stefan has the sensitivity of design and of building a business and growing companies. That's rare in our business. Usually it's one or the other… This is important to say: There is no toe in the water. I won't be coming in two days a week."

Few know that Ralph Lauren believes in giving back. In 1989 he co-founded Nina Hyde Center For Breast Cancer Research at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington and also served as Chairman of Fashion Targets Breast Cancer- a charitable initiative of CFDA that marshals the services of the fashion industry to raise public awareness and funds for breast cancer. On 15 September 2000 Ralph Lauren Corporation launched Pink Pony Campaign- a national initiative to raise awareness and enhance prevention, screening and treatment of cancer in poor communities. In 2003 he founded Ralph Lauren Center For Cancer Care and Prevention in Harlem. And in 2014 Ralph Lauren Corporation allied with Royal Marsden- the largest cancer center in Europe- to develop a world-class breast cancer research facility.


Mission

“Our Purpose at Ralph Lauren is to inspire the dream of a better life through authenticity and timeless style.”


Vision

The Ralph Lauren vision is one of quality, style, fine living and prestige.


Key Team

Ralph Lauren (Founder)


Recognition and Awards
1970: Coty Award in menswear * 1973: Coty Award for menswear * 1976: Coty Hall of Fame for menswear and womenswear * 1977: Coty Hall of Fame for womenswear * 1981: CFDA Fashion Award * 1987: CFDA Retailer of the Year * 1992: CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award * 1995: CFDA Award for Womenswear Designer of the Year * 1996: Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research Humanitarian Award * 1996: Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Brandeis University for his commitment to arts and education * 1996: CFDA Award for Menswear Designer of the Year * 1997: CFDA Award for Humanitarian Leadership * 2000: Inducted into Fashion Walk of Fame in Manhattan * 2003: Restore America Heroes Award from The National Trust for Historic Preservation * 2007: CFDA American Fashion Legend Award * 2009: CFDA Popular Vote Award * 2010: Mayor Michael Bloomberg presents Ralph Lauren with a key to the city of New York * 2010: Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur from the President of the Republic of France * 2014: James Smithson Bicentennial Medal * 2019: Knighted by Prince Charles.

Products and Services

Apparel and accessories for men and women.. a home line.. fragrances.. and jewellery.


References
Ralph Lauren
Leadership team

Ralph Lauren (Executive Chairman & CCO)

David Lauren (Vice Chairman and CIO)

Patrice Louvet (President and CEO)

Jack Becht  (Creative Director)

Industries

Fashion and Textiles

Retail and Consumer Goods

Products/ Services
Luxury apparel and accessories, footwear, fragrance, home line, furniture, jewellery
Number of Employees
20,000 - 50,000
Headquarters
New York City, New York, U.S.
Established
1967
Company Registration
1508314
Revenue
Above - 1B
Traded as
RL
Social Media

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Thu Apr 25 2024
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