Salutes Ralph Lauren

Salutes Ralph Lauren

On June 4, the Council of Fashion Designers of America honored Ralph Lauren for his unparalleled impact on the landscape of American style.

Explore coverage from the event and discover two new books celebrating Ralph’s remarkable story and singular vision.

Watch the ceremony

The Books

WWD / Fifty Years of Ralph Lauren

Cover and inside spread from the book WWD: Fifty Years of Ralph Lauren

The ultimate chronicle of the designer’s legendary life and career as documented by the editors of DNR and WWD for half a century

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Cover & inside spread from the book depicting Ralph & his family

Ralph Lauren: 50 Years

Cover & inside spread from the book depicting Ralph & his family

A newly revised and expanded version of Ralph’s signature coffee-table book highlighting the origins, inspirations, and vision for his iconic brand

Shop the Book
Model in black ballgown on staircase

The

RL Story

The making of an iconic brand

The making of an iconic brand

Ralph Lauren riding bike

1967

It all started with a tie: Ralph launches a neckwear line under the name Polo

Wide maroon necktie with white floral print

1968

Ralph debuts his first full menswear collection

Man plaid pants & shawl sweater & two men in sport coats

1971

The iconic Polo Pony debuts on the cuff of a women’s shirt

Close-up image of embroidered Polo Pony on cuff of women's shirt

1972

The Polo shirt debuts in 24 signature colors

Stack of Polo shirts in various hues on polo field
Newsweek cover showing Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby in RL apparel

1974

The Great Gatsby is released, featuring a men’s wardrobe by Ralph Lauren

1978

Ralph Lauren’s first fragrances, Polo for men and Lauren for women, are launched

Green fragrance bottle with polo player graphic at front

1981

Ralph opens his first store outside the United States, at 143 New Bond Street in London

London Polo Ralph Lauren storefront

1982

Ralph and Ricky purchase the Double RL Ranch

Ralph in cowboy hat & plaid shirt riding brown & white horse

1983

The launch of Ralph Lauren Home, the first full home collection from a clothing designer

Rustic wooden bed with plaid & Western-inspired blankets
Models sitting under tent in Africa on safari with zebra

1983

Ralph debuts his legendary Spring 1984 Safari Collection

Woman in safari-inspired apparel petting lion
Black & white image of Rhinelander mansion

1986

Ralph opens his first flagship in the former Rhinelander mansion, at 72nd and Madison in NYC

1989

Katherine Graham of The Washington Post and Ralph cofound the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research at Georgetown University Hospital

Photograph of Ralph with Audrey Hepburn at the CFDA Fashion Awards

1991

The Polo Bear makes his debut

1991

Ralph receives the CFDA Lifetime Achievement award. Audrey Hepburn presents the award to him at the ceremony on February 3, 1992

Stuffed teddy bear wearing herringbone sport coat & RL tie

1991

The Polo Bear makes his debut

1992

Polo Sport, a line of performance-driven activewear for sports and fitness, is launched

Double RL logo & image of white, brown & speckled horses
Model in red hooded sweatshirt with white USA text at front

1993

Ralph launches Double RL, his line inspired by authentic Western workwear

Photograph of RL in tailored sport coat & pleated trousers

1994

Ralph Lauren Purple Label debuts

Gwyneth Paltrow on red carpet in pale pink strapless ballgown

1999

Wearing a Ralph Lauren gown, Gwyneth Paltrow wins Best Actress at the 1999 Oscars for her role in Shakespeare in Love

2002

Ralph holds his first men’s runway show in Milan

Male model walking down runway in blue sport coat paired with denim

2006

Polo Ralph Lauren becomes the official outfitter of Wimbledon

Image of Wimbledon players in white cable sweaters & pants
Ralph speaking on stage at the CFDA Fashion Awards

2007

Ralph wins his second CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year award, 11 years after winning his first

2008

Polo Ralph Lauren becomes an official outfitter of Team USA

Team USA dress in RL navy blazers, white pants & white berets

2010

Mayor Michael Bloomberg presents Ralph with the key to the city of New York at the opening of his first women’s flagship at 888 Madison Avenue

Photograph of Ralph Lauren with Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Image of Ralph Lauren storefront in Paris

2010

Ralph opens a flagship on Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris

2014

Ralph opens The Polo Bar at 1 E. 55th Street in NYC

Water-projected women’s Polo fashion show at central park

2014

Women’s Polo makes its debut with a groundbreaking 4D water projection fashion show in Central Park

Ralph in grey 3-piece suite in The Polo Bar dining room
Model posing at fashion show in front of one of Ralph's c

2017

Ralph welcomes the New York fashion world to his private garage for his Fall 2017 Runway Show

2017

The Polo shirt is included in the MoMA exhibit Items: Is Fashion Modern?

Image from the MoMA  Items: Is Fashion Modern? exhibit
Vintage photograph of Ralph Lauren in fringed suede jacket

The early days of Ralph Lauren as seen in the pages of WWD