The Extraordinary Life Story of Ralph Lauren
Even though he is currently one of the most popular, appreciated and admired fashion designers in the world, Ralph Lauren was once a simple, Jewish boy named Ralph Lifshitz. At the age of 16, the future billionaire changed his last name to Lauren in order to avoid further teasing and mockery. His entry into the fashion business was related to ties, and he designed his first one when he was just 26 years old in 1966.
Even though he pitched his new design to his employers at the time, he was turned down, which is probably why he decided to quit soon in order to start his own company. Through his new firm, Ralph recycled rags and transformed them into neckties, which he would sell to different small shops across New York. Eventually, he was approached by a man named Neiman Marcus, who ordered 1,200 units, and this is how Ralph Lauren’s fashion empire was born. Over the next decades, Ralph gradually became more and more successful in his endeavors, and in 1971, he opened his Polo necktie store in Beverly Hills. This brand would soon become one of the most sought-after in the fashion industry, since its apparel pieces boasted a sublime mix of quality, comfort and affordability, which made them appealing to a generous number of Americans. Apart from neckties, Ralph also designed several men and women’s collections, which earned him numerous prizes including the COTY American Fashion Critics Award.
During the 1980s, Ralph Lauren was one of the most important personalities in the fashion industry, and 33 years later he came to own 388 stores worldwide as well as seven e-commerce websites. At this point, you shouldn’t be surprised when we tell you that this fashion legend is worth no less than $7.5 billion.