During last February 2009 F/W New York fashion week, I had met uncountable number of people and cultures but on reflection, all the memories have been torn apart. Probably because of my bad memory but I also was drunk on my cold medication. The last day when Ralph Lauren collection was on, that morning was even harder than others. When I was in agony between leaving the room or not, I remember that Korean PR manager told me about that Ralph Lauren wanted to say hi to Korean press people that time.
Finally, I got into my clothes like a dying snail and got to the collection place right before the show started. While I was actually put opposite with his runway, I envy his talent and time which allows him to keep changes the way he wants. If any one can be like him, growing older may not be such a bad idea. After the show, Ralph Lauren waves his hand to people and literally all the people stood up to give him applause. Ralph Lauren, wearing white shirts with definite Ralph Lauren vest worn with vintage looking casual pants, was a lot order but better than the one that I used to remember.
Like he was proving, that style is not something you try, it is something you live with. His face and style flows together like a story. After almost all people have left, he was walking up to Korean presses with kind smile on his face. Then, he gave a handshake with each and every one of us. I don’t remember what exactly we’ve talked about but I certainly remember how soft his hand was. It was hard to believe that he 40 years of Ralph Lauren has passed that hand. Just because I’ve met the fashion legend Ralph Lauren my self, my choice of that morning was very smart.
If we go back 40 years of his life, how would young Ralph Lauren be? Passionate fashion issue maker just like the Marc Jacobs or Alexander Wang now days? If we fast forward the video of last 40 years of Ralph Lauren, the base is as same as current Ralph Lauren. “When I was young, I saw a pair of beautiful blue suede shoes every day on my way to school.
Of course I didn’t have money to buy that right away so I waited to my birthday and I’ve got it. As time goes by, I became an adult but my mind is still just like a boy who wants something from the show window. It is only that something is not a suede shoes any more, but excitements about wanting and expecting something is still same like the old days to me.”
It doesn’t matter if the style is pastoral or modern, whether the inspiration is African or American; his pursuing images are always same. American style elegant woman from natural family of America. The only unreal thing is that there is no sadness and/or poverty. The reason why even his design does not board us even when they present above and beyond the time frame is that Ralph Lauren’s women are arranged in classic discrepancy as wearing safari jacket on top of beaded dresses or wearing motor cycle jacket with diamond earring.
As a start, he launched neck tie business in 1967. As he launched his premium men’s wear in 1968, Ralph Lauren genuinely started to grow as a company. Now, Ralph Lauren has lines of women’s wears, children’s wears, accessories, home furnishing and perfume. Those lines are ‘Polo by Ralph Lauren’, ‘Ralph Lauren Purple label’, ‘Ralph Lauren Collection’, ‘Black Label’, ‘Blue Label’, ‘Lauren by Ralph Lauren’, ‘Polo jeans Co,.’. ‘RRL’, ‘RXL’, ‘Rugby’, ‘Ralph Lauren childrens’ wear’, ‘American living’, ‘Chaps’, ‘Club Monaco’ etc…
Him, who never studied in design, quit school and worked for Necktie Company. His co-worker’s mind and style was ordinary. But, he wore custom jacket that has huge collar and side spread. He liked to create his own style. And when he first built his own tie company, he did not make famous narrowed tie but made wide spread tie which would look great on stylish people like Duke Windsor from 1930’s magazine and/or movies. “We label the neck tie our selves to the nick tie I’ve designed with my wife Ricky and her parents.
That label called Polo and that was our start.” His necktie became the must-have items to raise men’s integrity. Based on his necktie, he launched men’s wear brand name ‘Polo by Ralph Lauren’ to show the entire look of American’s classical style with chic European tailoring. “I like the I.V. league look.
That is comfortable and traditional. When I started to design men’s wear I used classic items like navy blazer, wrap tie, saddle shoes. Old schools for instance the likes of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton inspire me all the time.” Along the way, Ricky was the biggest reason for him to be interested in design women’s wear. Ricky is the traditional English style woman who is his partner of life and biggest inspiration of creative ideas.