This legendary American brand was born in 1967. It was founded by Ralph Lauren, who in fact was a born Livshits. And the future designer was born in the Bronx, New York in 1939. Ralph’s father was a painter and an artist, he came from Russia.
The family lived poorly, maybe that’s why the boy dreamed of a beautiful life since childhood, he loved art. At the age of 12, Ralph broke his piggy bank and bought a fashionable three-piece suit. Although the teenager had a new dream – to become a professional basketball player, fate prepared him another way.
At the age of 16 Livshits changed his name to Lauren, because it sounded much nobler and more euphonious. After serving in the army and marrying, the young man entered the City College, where he began to comprehend economics and business. However, until the end of Ralph never finished. He first settled himself as a clothing salesman, and then began to create models of ties in the company Rivetz & Co. Once a beginner designer came up with an absolutely new wide tie. And it was in those days when everyone preferred thin ties-herring. Then Lauren decided that with this find he can organize his own business.
In 1967, Ralph Lauren showed the world his first collection of neckties he had created. At first, these models were not particularly in demand. But the fashion designer was confident in himself, he knew that sooner or later he would find his buyer. In 1968, Polo Fashions was registered. And in 1969 she opened her own department in the famous department store Bloomingdale’s.
At first the company offered only ties and men’s clothing. But the brand began to be popular, so in 1971, was launched and a line of women’s clothing. However, the talent of the fashion designer did not imply management skills, which is why Lauren’s company soon turned out to be almost bankrupt. Saving her investor Peter Smith, who took over as president. Financial injections went to profit, and production began to grow.
In 1978, there was perfume from the brand Ralph Lauren, and in 1983, also items of furniture, as well as home accessories. Since then, the brand has become a luxury, the whole world has learned about it. The first foreign boutique was opened in 1981 in London. Today, under the roof of the company Polo Ralph Lauren combined more than two hundred manufacturers who produce design items for various applications. The company is doing well, it is constantly growing. The very same Ralph Lauren in the list of “Forbes” is among the 70 richest Americans. The fashion designer started collecting antique cars, only this collection of his own is worth at least $ 100 million.
Since 1986, the designer has won the CFDA Designer of the Year award three times. In 1992, Lauren also received the “Ambassador of Fashion” award for his achievements in this field. Today boutiques of the brand are spread all over the world. For a long time the company sponsored the US Open Tennis Championship, which is one of the four most important competitions in this sport. Recently, the logo “Ralph Lauren” can be found at Wimbledon.
This cooperation with tennis is not surprising – because the brand’s clothes are very elegant and executed with high quality. The brand offers mostly expensive clothes, but it emphasizes the style and status of its owner. The company also produces a series of pret-a-porter, designed for everyday life. At such clothes and the price is democratic, but the design is simpler. Casual clothing from the famous brand was in demand, it is worn by young and modern residents of megacities.
In 1997, shares of Polo Ralph Lauren appeared on the stock exchange, and a little later the brand became the owner of the retail chain “Club Monaco”. To better commercialize the business, Ralph Lauren launched his own website Polo.com. The designer stated that the goal of his company is to stay abreast of all new trends, maintain enthusiasm, and maintain the image of a young and modern company that is not afraid of novelty.
On the same site for the next year there was an online store. And on the runway.polo.com were found and women’s collections. In 2002 the site of the fashion house rlhome.polo.com was opened, and the global site global.polo.com was launched the following year.
In 2002, the brand was 35 years old, in honor of this, it launched a large-scale advertising campaign on television and in the press. And five years later Ralph Lauren himself published his book. The designer paid special attention to the image of his brand, which is why the first show-room appeared in New York. There was represented the main line of Ralph Lauren, as well as other lines. In the same metropolis there was also the first boutique of children’s clothing Polo.
Attention to visitors is expressed in that in 2003 the designer allows you to create a polo shirt at your discretion, taking into account the color and logo you like. And you can do it on the company’s website, where you even created a special section. Now everyone can try himself as a designer. Two years later, the book-album “The Diaries of the Collection” was released, where the company described in detail how the autumn collection of women’s clothing of that year was created.
In 2006, the brand opened its store in Tokyo. Especially for this event was the timed release of a small collection of exclusive women’s handbags and accessories. The company in its desire to meet the spirit of the time uses all the technical innovations. After the launch of Internet sites at the entrance of the store on Madison Avenue installed a huge touch screen. Directly on it, visitors can make purchases with a few touches at any time of the day.
The idea came about thanks to Steven Spielberg’s “Special Opinion”. Futuristic technology was decided to adapt to increase sales. The next innovation introduced allowed American customers to make purchases using smartphones and the Internet from anywhere in the world. Ralph Lauren became the first luxury brand in the country, which focused on Internet sales and implemented QR codes in its advertising campaigns.
And in 2007 the boutique Ralph Lauren appeared in the capital of Russia, in Moscow. The designer himself says that such a step is not only a match for the development strategy, but also an opportunity to get acquainted with the new culture. In 2009, the successful brand launched its new project “Draw Your Polo” in the Paris multi-brand department store Colette. Children are given a white polo and are given the opportunity to paint on it or decorate it as they just want.
Today, Ralph Lauren himself with a fortune of 7.5 billion dollars is among the 150 richest inhabitants of the planet. His company annually brings a net profit of $ 300 million, it employs more than 12,000 employees. In total there are more than 300 stores in the sales network.