Collage of black & white photographs of Mr. Lauren through the years

The Timeline

The Timeline

Young Mr. Lauren holding one of his early tie designs

1967

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

Working out of a drawer in the Empire State Building and drawing inspiration from the glamour of Old Hollywood, Ralph bucks the trends of the day with a collection of wide ties, each handmade from the highest quality fabrics.

Mr. Lauren in suit smoking cigar against backdrop of newspaper clippings

1968

Ralph debuts his first full men’s collection

Standout pieces include a white flannel suit and dress shirts in unexpected sport shirt fabrics. “I wanted more romance,” Ralph said, explaining his inspiration. “I wanted something that got me excited.”

Advertisement for Ralph Lauren's Bloomingdale's shop & Mr. Lauren on ladder

1970

The Polo by Ralph Lauren shop opens in Bloomingdale’s

It’s the legendary store’s first-ever boutique devoted to a single designer, and Ralph oversees every detail, down to the wood paneling.

Exterior and interior shots of the Beverly Hills Ralph Lauren store

1971

Ralph opens his first standalone store

By the end of the decade, the Polo by Ralph Lauren store on Beverly Hills’ storied Rodeo Drive will be joined by Polo outposts in Houston, Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Chicago, Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale.

Checked shirt with embroidered Polo Pony at cuff

1971

The iconic Polo Pony debuts on the cuff of a new line of women’s shirts

Ralph debuts his first women’s designs with a line of smartly tailored shirts, featuring details inspired by his men’s line—plus, for the first time ever, the now-iconic embroidered Pony.

Mr. Lauren in Polo shirt & photograph of polo match

1972

Ralph introduces the Polo shirt

Crafted from the finest materials and available in a rainbow of vivid colors, the Polo shirt becomes an icon of American style. “On one level, there’s an aspirational quality to having a polo player on it,” Ralph once said. “On another level, it’s just a great shirt with lots of colors.”

Plaid blazer & pinstripe skirt on mannequin & Ricky Lauren

1972

Ralph debuts his first full women’s collection

The new line takes cues from menswear, to the delight of both critics and customers. “When I started to make menswear, women were always asking, ‘Can you make that for me?’” Ralph said. “I think I heard their voices.”

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby in RL suiting

1974

The Great Gatsby makes a statement

The film’s menswear comes from the latest Polo collection—with the exception of a pink suit Ralph designs specifically for Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby.

Mr. Lauren & Ricky in tuxedos at the Coty Awards

1976

Ralph wins a Coty award for womenswear and the Coty Hall of Fame award for menswear

Less than a decade after starting Polo, Ralph becomes the first designer to win in the men’s and women’s categories in the same year. Saks Fifth Avenue takes out a celebratory ad in The New York Times, in which Ralph appears in black tie with blue jeans.

Diane Keaton in Annie Hall wearing RL menswear-inspired looks

1977

Annie Hall makes her mark

Diane Keaton’s trademark look, featuring several Ralph Lauren pieces, anchors the Oscar–winning film. “[The look] suggested a truly new and independent way of dressing,” Joan Juliet Buck later wrote for Vogue. “It was tender, personal, and original.”

Action shot of polo player on horseback during match

1978

Ralph introduces Polo for Men

The scent’s signature green bottle was inspired by a vintage flask, complementing masculine notes of pine, leather, and tobacco. A TV ad in support of the launch features polo players in action.

Mr. Lauren on ranch in Westernwear

1979

Ralph embraces the cowboy spirit

With Polo Western, his new line of denim, apparel, and accessories, Ralph draws inspiration from the purpose-built clothes of the American West. The tagline—“made to be worn”—says it all.

READ THE FULL STORY AT RL MAG
Mr. Lauren standing with Southwestern-inspired fabrics

1981

The Santa Fe Collection makes its debut

Inspired by the city’s artistry and free spirit, Ralph brought the craftsmanship and natural charm of the Southwest to the forefront of high fashion.

Newspaper clips & photographs of Ralph Lauren's first store outside the US

1981

Ralph opens his first store outside the United States

The Polo shop at New Bond Street in London is the first freestanding shop in Europe for an American designer. Located in a former pharmacy, the space exemplifies the timeless gentleman’s club aesthetic that Ralph Lauren stores will become known for.

Photographs of Americana- and heritage-inspired Ralph Lauren Home designs

1983

Ralph Lauren Home debuts

Frustrated by the lack of choices and quality on the market, Ralph launches his own home collection—a first for a clothing designer. It includes a wide array of offerings, from bedding to rugs and décor, designed around four signature RL motifs: Thoroughbred, New England, Jamaica, and Log Cabin.

Model in all-white look sitting next to tiger

1984

Ralph presents his Safari Collection

Evoking Ralph’s vision of an African safari, the Spring 1984 Collection, and its subsequent ad campaign, anticipate the award-winning film Out of Africa, which comes out the following year.

Photographs of the Ralph Lauren flagship store at Rhinelander mansion

1986

Ralph redefines retail with his first flagship

Reimagining New York’s celebrated Rhinelander mansion on Madison Avenue, Ralph extends his vision for living across multiple floors adorned with hand-carved mahogany balustrades, oak floors, and marble fireplaces. As a store, the venue is an instant hit, sparking a revolution of story-driven retail experiences.

READ THE FULL STORY AT RL MAG
Time magazine with Mr. Lauren on the cover

1986

Ralph appears on the cover of Time magazine

Inside, the story documents how Ralph built a fashion empire less than 20 years after Polo debuted.

Mr. Lauren & Katharine Graham at opening of Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research

1989

Ralph cofounds the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research

Along with legendary Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, Ralph honors the memory of late Post fashion correspondent Nina Hyde with a new facility at Georgetown University Hospital, embodying his longtime commitment to supporting the fight against cancer.

READ THE FULL STORY AT RL MAG
Polo Bear donning classic Polo sweaters & denim

1991

The Polo Bear arrives on the scene

The Polo style icon got his start as a limited-edition teddy bear inspired by a stuffed bear Ralph received as a gift from his staff (it was wearing clothes modeled on Mr. Lauren’s own). Soon, the bear was embroidered onto sweaters, formal slippers, and accessories, and is now a playful hallmark for Polo style.

READ THE FULL STORY AT RL MAG
Mr. Lauren being given the CFDA Lifetime Achievement award by Audrey Hepburn

1991

Ralph receives the CFDA Lifetime Achievement award

Legendary actress Audrey Hepburn presents the award at the ceremony. “You have to do what you believe in and stay with it,” Ralph said at the time. “Never give it up.”

Close-ups of color-blocked & bold-hued Polo Sport athleticwear

1992

Polo Sport debuts with the Stadium collection

With its bold colors and eye-catching graphics, the line of performance-driven activewear would go on to become one of Polo’s most collected.

Mr. Lauren in Westernwear riding horses & around Double RL Ranch

1993

Double RL makes its debut

Taking its name from Ralph’s Colorado ranch, Double RL embodies the authenticity and purpose-built style of the West. “This is my closet,” Ralph succinctly put it. “It’s not fashion; it’s real stuff.”

Mr. Lauren in chalk-stripe suit standing by classic car

1995

Ralph introduces Purple Label

Inspired by the finest European tailoring, the new line embodies unprecedented levels of refinement and style. The launch campaign stars Ralph wearing a double-breasted chalk-stripe suit from the collection.

Paint brushes, paint can & wall featuring Ralph Lauren Paint

1995

The launch of Ralph Lauren Paint

“A color is capable of changing the way you feel and the way you act,” says Ralph Lauren, who offered more than 400 distinct hues, across five lifestyle collections (Safari, Country, Sport, Thoroughbred, and Santa Fe), with his first-ever paint collection.

Photograph of Mr. Lauren at the New York Stock Exchange

1997

Ralph takes his company public

After the company reaches $1 billion in sales, Polo Ralph Lauren becomes a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

Photographs of the restoration process for the Star-Spangled Banner

1998

Ralph pledges $13 million to preserve the Star-Spangled Banner

With his donation to the Save America’s Treasures campaign, Ralph funds the preservation of the American flag that flew over the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812, inspiring Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem.

READ THE FULL STORY AT RL MAG
Gwyneth Paltrow at the Oscars in pink ballgown

1999

Gwyneth Paltrow wears Ralph Lauren on her big night at the Oscars

Wearing a pink gown that Ralph designed for the occasion, Gwyneth earns an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in 1998’s Shakespeare in Love.

Interior & exterior shots of the RL Restaurant in Chicago

1999

Ralph opens his first restaurant

Located adjacent to his Chicago store—the brand’s biggest in the world—RL Restaurant offers a perfected take on the classics, an approach which would become a culinary signature of later restaurants.

Mr. Lauren on yellow motorcycle on RalphLauren.com homepage

2000

Ralph blazes a new trail with Polo.com

Representing a groundbreaking merger of content and commerce, the site featured the latest Ralph Lauren collections alongside immersive digital experiences, exclusive interviews and style advice, and live presentations of the brand’s runway shows.

Video of Mr. Lauren introducing the Pink Pony Campaign

2000

Ralph launches Pink Pony

Ralph’s signature initiative in the global fight against cancer launches with his Spring Runway Show in New York City, with models debuting now-iconic Pink Pony T-shirts. Pink Pony has since evolved into a full collection, with 25 percent of the purchase price of each item donated to Ralph Lauren’s efforts in the global fight against cancer.

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Model walking in a Purple Label Runway Show

2002

Ralph stages his first men’s Runway Shows in Milan

At the company’s palazzo inside the Italian fashion capital, Ralph hosts Runway Shows for the Fall 2002 and Spring 2003 collections of Purple Label.

Mr. Lauren at Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care opening

2003

The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care opens in New York

Ralph Lauren partners with the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the nation’s leading cancer center, and North General Hospital to open the East Harlem–based center. The center’s mission is to provide the highest quality cancer screening and treatment services to Harlem and surrounding communities.

Model in cable sweater & white pants designed for Wimbledon

2006

Polo Ralph Lauren becomes the official outfitter of Wimbledon

Ralph is the first designer in the tournament’s 120-year history to be chosen to create uniforms for all on-court officials.

Mr. Lauren at the 2007 CFDA Awards

2007

Ralph wins his second CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year award

Ralph’s second CFDA in 11 years coincides with him taking home the first-ever American Fashion Legend Award, presented by Oprah Winfrey. “Ralph is as much an ambassador for American values as anyone appointed by the White House,” Winfrey said. “He has become an icon, a true American success story.”

Ralph Lauren styles designed for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic teams

2008

Polo Ralph Lauren becomes an official outfitter of Team USA

The brand designs looks for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams as they walk the opening and closing ceremonies, along with an assortment of villagewear, at the Olympic Summer Games Beijing 2008.

Mr. Lauren with Mayor Bloomberg at the NYC women's flagship

2010

Ralph receives the key to the city

Mayor Michael Bloomberg presents Ralph with the key to New York City at the opening of his first women’s flagship, at 888 Madison Avenue. Mr. Lauren is the first fashion designer to receive this honor.

Mr. Lauren in Paris at opening of flagship store & restaurant

2010

Ralph opens a flagship store and restaurant in Paris

Located on Boulevard Saint-Germain, the store is housed in a restored 17th-century hôtel particulier. The 13,000-square-foot townhouse includes crystal chandeliers, wrought-iron balconies, and Versailles-style parquet floors, as well as Ralph’s restaurant, which serves up an elegant mix of American cuisine and French ambiance.

Poster & video for the L'Art de L'Automobile exhibition

2011

L’Art de L’Automobile opens in Paris

The exhibition of 17 selections from Ralph’s renowned car collection pairs Mr. Lauren’s twin passions of speed and style in a landmark event in Paris. A 160-page book celebrating the history and beauty of these vehicles is published to coincide with the opening.

Images from the 4D women's Polo show at Central Park

2014

Polo for Women makes a splash in Central Park

Ralph debuts his new women’s Polo line with a groundbreaking 4D water projection fashion show, featuring models holographically projected onto a wall of water shooting nearly 60 feet into the air above The Lake in Central Park.

Scenes from The Polo Bar restaurant in New York City

2015

The Polo Bar creates a scene

With his first restaurant in his native New York City, Ralph conjures a warm, inviting world on East 55th Street, drawing inspiration from the city’s most classic dining establishments and Ralph’s longtime love of gathering around the table with family and friends.

READ THE FULL STORY AT RL MAG
Mr. Lauren & family at the London Ralph Lauren Centre for Breast Cancer Research opening

2016

The Ralph Lauren Centre for Breast Cancer Research opens in London

Located at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, one of the world’s preeminent research institutions, this 2,000-square-foot space hosts world-class facilities that allow for more rapid and in-depth analysis of the disease.

READ THE FULL STORY AT RL MAG
Mr. Lauren by sports car at Ralph's Garage Runway Show

2017

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

For the first time ever, Ralph invites guests to the immaculate, and private, garage that houses his world-class car collection for an unforgettable viewing of the Collection that was inspired by his cars’ dynamism and beauty.

Green Polo shirt with red embroidered Polo Pony at chest

2017

The Polo shirt is featured in the landmark MoMA exhibition Items: Is Fashion Modern?

Ralph Lauren’s iconic shirt is highlighted as one of the most important items of clothing released in the past several decades, and is added to the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.

Sketches of heated jackets worn by Olympians during Parade of Nations

2018

Ralph brings the heat at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018

Ralph writes a new chapter in wearable technology with a cutting-edge parka, designed exclusively for Team USA, that provides up to 11 hours of electronically controlled warmth via an exclusive on-board heating system.

READ THE FULL STORY AT RL MAG
Photographs from the 50th anniversary celebration in Central Park

2018

Ralph celebrates 50 years with a star-studded celebration in Central Park

To mark a half-century of timeless American style, Ralph welcomes more than 600 celebrities and friends—including Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Springsteen, and Hillary Clinton—for a landmark fashion show in the heart of New York, accompanied by an immersive digital installation showcasing 50 years of groundbreaking advertising and a seated dinner set against the backdrop of Central Park’s iconic Bethesda Terrace.

READ THE FULL STORY AT RL MAG
Photographs & video featuring models channeling the cast of Friends

2019

“The One Where They Wear Ralph Lauren”

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Friends, Ralph Lauren honored the hit sitcom with a tribute to the characters’ iconic style. Captured on the Friends set at Warner Bros. studio, the campaign focused on the personal style of Rachel Green, played by Jennifer Aniston, who worked at Ralph Lauren from season 5 to season 10. Mr. Lauren even appeared as himself in the season-6 episode “The One With Ross’ Teeth.”

  • 1967
  • 1971
  • 1976
  • 1981
  • 1986
  • 1991
  • 1997
  • 2003
  • 2010
  • 2014
  • 2019