Ralph Lauren, the eponymous founder of the iconic label, has one of the greatest rags to riches stories the world has ever seen.
Born Ralph Lifshitz to Ashkenazi Jews from the USSR (Belarus), Lauren started his journey by selling handmade ties to his fellow high school students, progressing on to be a salesman at Brooks Brothers, taking a job at a upscale boutique Beau Brummell, before finally launching his signature ‘All American’ label in 1967.
The rest, as they say, is history.
When a man like Lauren talks, we tend to listen – so here’s some gems straight from the mouth of the man that almost single handedly brought the preppy look to life.
1. The world is open to us, and each day is an occasion to reinvent ourselves.
2. Style is very personal. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style is forever.
3. It’s about living the best life you can and enjoying the fullness of the life around you—from what you wear, to the way you live, to the way you love.
4. You have to look for things you really love, for what your dream is.
5. I have tried to be authentic in everything I do.
6. A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.
7. I have always loved things that are timeless and get better with age.
8. Taste and style is beyond clothes. It’s in food; it’s in quality. Working out, healthy bodies, organic food— they’re all part of the same thing.
9. Knowledge is not a passion from without the mind, but an active exertion of the inward strength, vigor and power of the mind, displaying itself from within.
10. People used to say, ‘You look like a schmuck, Ralph. What are you wearing?’ They didn’t get it. All of a sudden, they got it.
11. You can make a statement by how you dress. Clothes are really part of an expression; they make a statement about you.
12. Personal style is about having a sense of yourself and what you believe in every day.
13. You have to create something from nothing.