Essentials of style
He was a Bronx-born son of immigrants who grew up prizing a certain idea of America, then sold it right back to us. Eventually his name would be dropped in rap songs and sitcoms, becoming synonymous with a lifestyle of ease and plenty. But in 1967, all he had was a line of neckties, which he sold from a drawer in the Empire State Building.
GREG LAUREN ( FAS HI ON D E S I GNER A ND NEPHEW) : “He was growing up in the Bronx, and it was a time when heroes really meant something. Between movies and sports, those heroes drove his inspiration and his passion to create.”
DAVI D L AUREN (EXECUTIVE V I C E - P R E S I D E NT, R A L P H L AUREN, A ND S ON) : “Ralph Lauren started with a tie. My mom and my grandmother used to help sew the labels into them, and he would take these ties and go door-to-door to department stores, trying to get people to buy them.”
TOM S E L L E C K ( ACTOR): “Back in the ’60s, I worked at a clothing store on Wilshire as a salesman. Somewhere in that period, this guy used to come in the store; I don’t think I ever talked to him. But he had a line of ties and he was repping them. And that was Ralph.”