Fashion Designer Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren was born Ralph Lifshitz on October 14, 1939 in Bronx, New York. He grew up in a middle class Jewish household where he shared a room with two of his brothers. Lauren, along with his three older brothers, was raised by his mother while his father, an artist, painted houses for a living. With the money he earned at his after school job, Lauren would buy expensive suits in order to look stylish, and, by the age of 12, Lauren has succeeded in becoming one of the most trendy, fashion-savvy people around.

Instead of attending fashion school, Lauren studied Business at City College in Manhattan. Although he dropped out just before he received his degree, what he learned about business would prove to be invaluable as his designs became more popular. Here he learned the basics of consumer behavior, marketing, and sales, which all factor in to the creation, packaging, and presentation of his designs. Lauren went to school at night in order to work for a tie manufacturer, A. Rivetz & Co., during the day. It was here that Lauren designed the wide tie, which generated his first entrepreneurial endeavor.



With a $50,000 loan and his signature wide ties, Lauren and his older brother founded Polo Fashions. They selected the name because of the power, style, and intrigue that the name had always been associated with. It was not luck or style that has made the Polo/Ralph Lauren brand so popular, but Lauren’s innovativeness, his business sense, his tenacity (he has succeeded despite several business failures), and his resolve to stick by his products even in the face of adversity.