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Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren, one of the great American fashion designers, was born in the Bronx, New York in October 14, 1939. Named Ralph Lifshitz, he later changed his last name to Lauren.

Lauren developed a remarkable sense of fashion early in life, working after school to buy suits and other fashionable wear. By the time he was in high school, Lauren was already selling ties and other apparel to his classmates.

Lauren studied business at Baruch College but dropped out before graduating. He learned much about fashion design, especially ties, while working days and going to school at night.

After serving a stint in the United States Army, Lauren returned to New York City where he worked as a salesman for Brooks Brothers and started designing ties for other companies.

In 1968, Lauren and one of his brothers founded Polo fashions, which featured Lauren's wide tie designs. The name Polo was chosen because it is a sport that embodies fashion and style. Polo quickly became a sensational brand and launched Ralph Lauren into the upper echelons of fashion design.

By 1971, Lauren had opened his store in Beverly Hills, California and launched his collection of ladies wear. The Lauren line of western wear for men and women was introduced in 1978, the same year he began the first line of Ralph Lauren fragrances.

During the 80s, facing stiff completion from Armani and other fashion powerhouses, Lauren created a very successful line of clothing that successfully catered to the office worker. This line of fashionable office wear had a sophisticated business casual look and feel, while giving the wearer the confidence and style in the workplace.

The 1980's also brought a line of towels, sheets, and furniture to the Lauren collection for the home.

With the 1990's came the era of health and fitness in which Lauren took advantage of by introducing the Polo Sport line, a vibrant and health conscious look in fashion wear. In 1994, Lauren came out with a brand of men's clothing called the Purple Label.

In response to the buying standards of younger customers, Lauren introduced Polo Jeans Company in 1996. Polo Ralph Lauren went public in 1997.

As a multi-billion dollar company, in 2002, Ralph Lauren celebrated it's 35th anniversary, showcasing an array of designer products that included men's wear, fashionable ladies wear, children's and young adult fashions, fragrances, and the Ralph Lauren home collections.

In 2003, Lauren opened it's first domestic children's Polo store in New York City, where customer's found a wide range of classic and vintage fashions for young boys and girls.

Lauren launched Rugby in 2004, a clothing line specifically for men and women from the ages of 16 to 25. The Boston store featured rugby and polo shirts, jackets, suits, dresses, outerwear, and accessories.

Growing steadily, a store was opened in Tokyo, Japan in 2006 that features a limited collection of handbags and assessories, along with other Ralph Lauren designs and merchandise. Polo Ralph Lauren expanded it's global fashion by opening two flagship stores in Moscow in 2007.

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