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Ralph Lauren turns 84: look back at the most memorable moments in the designer’s career

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

On birthdays, it’s common to hear about how incredible or irreplaceable a person is and this month, with Ralph Lauren‘s 84th birthday, it won’t be any different.

Born in the Bronx (NY) on October 14, 1939, Ralph Lifshitz was part of a family of working-class Jewish immigrants and, even so, was always a very ambitious and determined boy. As a child, Ralph wrote in his school yearbook that his plans for the future were simple: to be a millionaire. Little did Ralph know that, in addition to actually being a millionaire, he would become a fashion icon!

His career began as a sales assistant at Brooks Brothers, a traditional American store. At that time, Ralph was responsible for innovative creations that mixed creativity with sophistication. Among these, he created a 10cm wide tie that, despite being unusual, sold out in a short period of time. Soon after, the designer went to work at Beau Brummell where he was able to create his own brand Polo, starting just with ties.

From there, the rest is history. Ralph Lauren has become a household name for its iconic pieces in both ready-to-wear and haute couture. The most interesting thing about his career is that his clothes were part of other forms of art, such as music and cinema. That’s why it’s worth taking a look at 5 iconic moments in the career of this designer who, with the aim of making money, made history.

Statement pieces

It’s impossible to talk about Ralph Lauren without mentioning the polo shirts that are a reference to elegance. With its bold color, sharp collar, and contrast-stitch logo, it was introduced in 1972 and continues to be successful today.

In addition to the polos, we also have the famous Polo Ralph Lauren bear sweater, launched in 1991. The bear has changed its outfit, style and even color, but it is still a fun and iconic piece of the brand.

Movies and TV shows

Right at the beginning of his brand, Ralph was assigned to design the costumes for the movie The Great Gatsby, with Leonardo DiCaprio. The movie became a landmark in the history of cinema, and part of that credit came from the sophisticated costumes worn by the characters.

In TV shows, the brand has dressed iconic characters such as Serena van der Woodsen in Gossip Girl. In addition to his brand, Lauren himself is also mentioned in Friends when Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) was working at Ralph Lauren. In one episode, the designer even makes his one cameo in an elevator ride with the character.


When hip hop began to grow even more as a musical genre, Polo Ralph Lauren was adopted as part of its fashion culture. One of the most important moments of this interaction was when American rapper Raekwon wore a branded windbreaker, with the words “Snow Beach”, in the music video for Wu-Tang Clan’sCan It Be All So Simple” (1994).

Red carpets and Met Gala

The designer has been responsible for dressing several celebrities at various important moments in the fashion world. Anne Hathaway‘s Jedi hooded dress for the 2015 Met Gala is a perfect example. The pale pink Ralph Lauren dress that Gwyneth Paltrow wore to accept her Oscar for Best Actress at the 1999 Academy Awards also deserves a mention. In addition, Priyanka Chopra‘s trench dress for the 2017 Met Gala, in honor of Rei Kawakubo from Comme des Garçons, could not be forgotten.

Important Women

As if all this wasn’t enough, Lauren’s brand has dressed women of great international importance. These include Michelle Obama, who wore a drop-shoulder Ralph Lauren dress during a state visit to the UK in 2011. Kate Middleton has worn the designer’s clothes several times, as has Hillary Clinton, who wore a Ralph Lauren suit during her 2016 presidential campaign.

Well… it’s impossible not to recognize the importance of Ralph Lauren to the world of fashion, right? That’s why I wish this man who brought us so many fashion gifts a happy birthday!



The article above was edited by Mariana do Patrocínio.

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Se eu pudesse mudar a vida das pessoas usando as palavras assim como eu mudei a minha… Ah, peraí, eu posso (ou posso pelo menos tentar). Em meio a vários características – feminista, meio patricinha de São Paulo, geminiana, apaixonada por moda, obcecada por poemas e algumas outras- prometo tirar o maior proveito de todas elas para tentar alcançar um mundo mais cheio de respeito e amor.