Written by Ralph Lauren, Edited by Mary Randolph Carter
- October 18, 2011
- Design - Fashion
- 9 x 11-3/4
As I was growing up I adopted the preppy style of dressing. It is all about polka dot ties, glen plaid suits, brown brogues, tan linen suits, white french cuff shirts, and pocket squares.
There is only one name in the world of fashion that has made preppy into a four billion dollar juggernaut, Ralph Lauren.
It all started with a tie he designed and named, "Polo". His tie was a massive hit and Neiman Marcus placed an order for 100 dozen. From there he opened a Polo boutique on Rodeo Drive with the financial backing of Norman Hilton and the rest is history.
Over the years his line has expanded to women, boys, and housewares. Denim, sportswear, and the Rugby concept store round out the choices. RL has several different lines to accommodate all discriminating clients, with Purple Label at the top. Also, RL is a major contributor to several worthy causes.
His astute eye for classic clothes is only surpassed by his discerning eye for classic automobiles. Remember the saying, it is not the quantity, but quality? RL does. The number of automobiles in his collection is small compared to Jay Leno's. However, the 60 automobiles in his collection are the rare of the rarest. Automobiles with production runs of 4, 5, 6, 15 and the coveted 1 of 1. The three standouts are the 1938 Bugatti 57 SC Atlantic, 1930 Mercedes-Benz SSK "Count Trossi", and 1996 McLaren F1 LM. In 2005 RL displayed his collection of automobiles at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston which I attended.
I had first seen this book in NYC. I mentioned that I had seen this amazing coffee table book about RL to my wife. She remembered I had an interest in this book and purchased it for my birthday 2 years ago. This is book is massive! It weighs about 5 pounds and runs in excess of 450 pages.
This book is a mere glimpse into the mind of RL. It is divided into four sections, Living, Movies, Heroines, and History. The foreword is penned by the late Audrey Hepburn, extolling his brilliance in designing clothes. It important to note this is a biography of RL in hundreds of pictures and not in words. However, there is some text in the beginning and in History, but not a lot in between.