Lauren, Ralph(lôr`ən, lərĕn`), 1939–, American fashion designer, b. New York City as Ralph Lipschitz. He began his career by creating neckties under the name Polo for Beau Brummel. In 1968 he created a menswear line under the Polo name; he headed the company that he established until 2015. He subsequently branched out into tailored shirts for women, boy's clothes, and women's ready-to-wear fashions in fabrics such as English flannel, Harris tweeds, silk, and cashmere. His name also appears on such diverse products as home furnishings, tableware, and luggage. He designed the costumes for the films The Great Gatsby (1974) and Annie Hall (1977). His look is traditional, luxurious, and casual. His collections have inspired interest in the American West and American country styles.
See biography by M. Gross (2003).
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Lauren, Ralph (b. Ralph Lifshitz)(1939– ) fashion designer; born in the Bronx, N.Y. As a fledgling designer, he changed his name in the mid-1950s. He founded Polo for men (1968) and Ralph Lauren women's collections (1971). His casual, expensive ready-to-wear was distinguished by classic designs and a rich mixture of fabrics, texture, and color and won him eight Coty Awards. His clothing, housewares, and accessories brilliantly evoked old money and country house life for upwardly mobile America. He became known for expensive advertising that promoted the Lauren image as well as the products.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.