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Ralph Lauren (born 1939) is a household name. The man and his brand’s logo of a polo player riding a horse is recognized by all. From a $50,000 loan in 1968, Polo Ralph Lauren’s humble beginnings grew into the internationally famous lifestyle brand that everyone knows today. Ralph was one of the first designers to extend his production of clothing lines to homeware and furniture. He was also the first of the megabrand American designers to set up shop in Europe. Underpinning Ralph’s designs is an unmistakable preference for old-world gentility. In fact, he has made the Ivy League, preppy style his own. Ralph’s entrance into fashion can be traced back to 1964 with Brooks Brothers, and then Beau Brummell Neckwear in 1967, where he designed wide ties. In the following year, the beginnings of a what was to become a billion-dollar brand took root. The Polo menswear line was launched and in 1970 he won the Coty Menswear Award; Ralph added womenswear to the brand in 1971. He has been awarded the CFDA’s Lifetime Achievement Awad (1992) along with its Menswear designer (1995) and Womenswear designer (1996) prizes. Ralph is also involved in philanthropic activities. In 2006, Ralph became the official outfitter of Wimbledon and in 2008 an official outfitter of the 2008 and 2012 US Olympic and Paralympic teams.


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