Ralph Lauren has completed 50 years this month. Despite recent turbulence, it is indispensable in the hearts of those who appreciate the male fashion. Few brands are consistently good for so long.
The parade commemorative has been a journey for this trajectory. All the ideas, still beautiful. Save the link in your browser to see it after you finish this read.
In addition to the presentation, Ralph Lauren also have prepared a book and a site monument with historic images, but I felt a lack of lovely photos of Ralph and Ricky Lauren. I always thought that the best ad of the brand is the own Ralph.
Among the hundreds of photos and campaigns over the years, the family are the more I like it.
My favorite photos
My favorites are those taken in the 1970s, when they moved to a home in Hampton. In the photo below, the huge house with the funds was a barn red, which was behind a colonial house of wood.
What I like most in these pictures is that they are pluggable even showing a reality extremely ambitious. It is a perfect overview of what defines the Ralph Lauren, that has success all price levels – jackets $5,000 made in Italy up poles $20.
In the photos, Ralph wears a flannel shirt open over a henley, and Ricky wears a jumpsuit jeans. The house has leather chairs, threadbare and tapestry native american. The walls with the wooden panels are worn, and the doors go up to the ceiling the ceiling. The living room has a large fireplace and in the kitchen, a sink huge where Ricky bathed their first child.
The family Lauren bought many other buildings since then. All are amazing, but like too much with the campaigns of the line Ralph Lauren Home. They are beautiful, but the aristocratic, cold, pristine. I think that this is the image that most people have of the brand here in Brazil: something in the distant, snobbish.
In the second place, comes the amazing ranch, Ralph and Ricky Lauren in Colorado. The interior is decorated with lamps Art Nouveau-style chairs Stickley wood and blankets Navajo.
This ranch is the incorporation of physical line RLM (I’ll explain shortly), but the references to native american can cause discomfort. Don’t you think the tents that an exaggeration?
That is why the house in Hampton is my favorite. The naturalness of that old barn in Southampton, is the best.
Although not all relate to the world of dreams that he builds up with the fashion, the story of the immigrant seller of neckties which became a multi-billionaire is the personification of the American Dream.
RLM – THE time line of the Double RL
Despite being my second favorite, the Ranch has a very interesting history.
What makes the southwest of the USA so attractive for a jewish kid from the east coast of the United States? To Ralph, it must have been a much needed change of pace and an untapped source of inspiration.
Around 1977, the company already had the legendary polo shirt, designed the costumes for The Great Gatsby and Annie Hall. Ralph Lauren, was already part of the Hall of Fame of the COTY Menswear, and was on the way to transform your brand into an empire. Commercially, I imagine that he felt that the style of “trad”, perhaps out of fashion, and began to take aim at the west.
I lived in Arizona and I was in Santa fe during a Road Trip that went through the New Mexico. In Brazil, we are accustomed to with colors. To someone from New York, it is a region with colors, designs, fabrics and different than anything available at home.
Western Polo Ralph Lauren
Despite being a new yorker, Ralph had an obsession with the american southwest. All american of the forties and fifties was created in the era of the western movies that portray the southwest as a region beautiful and mythical unexplored.
Armed with an intense passion for a place that knew more in spirit than in reality, the designer launched the collection Western Polo Ralph Lauren, in 1978.
The clothes did not reflect the west of the past or the present, but the west which Ralph lane, a romanticised perspective of a place that he knew only in novels.
Ralph was a stranger with a head full of expectations that do not disappoint after two years, when finally he personally went to the southwest accompanied by the folk Michael Murphey.
On this trip he has absorbed for the first time, with all the senses, a land that had never seen. The change of scenery has reinvigorated and led to two important creations in the history of the company.
The first: Ralph Lauren Collection, Santa fe, 1981
The first creation came in 1981. The collection at Santa fe was the first love letter that Ralph wrote to the southwest american.
It was a release full of blankets navajo, shirts, western, bandanas, denim, huge silver buckles and turquoise. The was a reflection of all that he had seen in his travels.
This collection deviated significantly from previous collections. Ralph was clearly involved with a region that was about to become a home.
The Ralph Lauren wrote the book with everything we know today about selling the fashion way of life, and it is very likely that he was selling the dream itself.
The second: Ralph Lauren Country
At the same time that the brand launched the collection at Santa fe, the couple Ricky and Ralph Lauren decided to buy a in Ridgway, Colorado. The immense farm of sixteen thousand acres was named Rancho RLM and solidified the southwest in the life of a stylist.
I’m not sure if it was in the late 80’s or early 90’s that Ralph Lauren launched the line of Polo Country. This subtag gave sequence to the style that emerged in the collection Santa fe. The Polo Country turned the younger brother, free to act outside of the expectations of all.
This era produced some of the designs more interesting in the history of the brand. Among them, jackets heads with the indian painted on his back, coats of indigo, sweaters aztec and jackets firefighter.
Although there has not been a failure, the line does not have the same commercial result of the other lines.
Then, in 1993, Ralph decided it was time to hit the bottom. He took the name of the rancho, it ended up with the Polo Country and began the RLM. The brand took a life of its own, with extensive collections that document the history of north america and shops that are true sanctuaries.
Two decades later, the RLM continues one of the lines most captivating of Ralph Lauren. The shops are mini-versions of the ranch, with shawls vintage, more yellowish, saddles and worn-out thousands of details and the goldfields ephemera imaginable.
The stylist is often stated in interviews that his collections revolve around an idea, a person, situated in a any time and any place. I have the feeling that these inspirations actually comes from their own experiences.
He once spoke about his wife: “I didn’t like the girl with makeup and high heels. I liked the girl in jeans and a white shirt with sleeves folded, using the jacket of her boyfriend. This is the girl that attracts me. This is the girl whom I married, Ricky” (source).
The life of the stylist and their passions are clearly the engine that has built an empire of dreams. Photos of Ralph with the wife are still the best tools of marketing of the company and, decades after they are taken, are still stylish and relevant.
With the creator more and more old and each time further away from the day-to-day in the company, I hope that the brand will be able to maintain alive the romantic look of the creator to get back on their feet without losing the passion of the founder.
Because Ralph Lauren, and her life with Ricky, Lauren, always has been, “Ralph Lauren”.