Born in 1939, Ralph Lauren and family lived in a working class neighborhood in the Bronx, New York. Although Lauren showed a great deal of interest in fashion at an early age, he received no formal design training. He pursued his passion for couture by working in and around New York in the classiest department stores. Eventually, Lauren found himself selling ties at Brooks Brothers. During the evenings, he studied business at night school. Some have said that it is at Brooks Brothers that Lauren created the polished look that would later become his trademark. Brooks Brothers has been known for decades for impeccable design and classic style. One commentator on Lauren’s work said that it is from Brooks Brothers that Lauren hailed his "muse of tradition."
During this time, Lauren began designing a line of ties. After cultivating a loyal clientele, Lauren decided to call his company Polo Fashions. The Polo ties came in colorful Italian silk patterns and were almost twice as wide as standard ties. The look was enormously popular and ties flew off the shelves of department stores. After the success of his line of ties, Lauren expanded his business into men’s fashion. The Polo look was decidedly Ivy League. Meant to attract a wealthy clientele who wanted a flamboyant yet traditional business look, Lauren’s menswear line was an immediate success. Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, Lauren slowly grew the Polo empire. In 1972, he introduced his first line of women’s clothing. In 1974, Lauren was asked to design all the costumes for the film The Great Gatsby.
By the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Lauren’s preppy English tweed suit was the power suit of a generation. Eventually, the sleeker lines of the Armani suit would become the power suit of choice on Wall Street. While the popularity of the Armani suit’s crisp black lines grew, Lauren introduced a new line of casual menswear. This line consisted of golf shirts, cotton khakis, and casual button down shirts. In a world where some men refused to take off their suit jackets in their office, Lauren ushered in the “business casual” look that remains popular today.
Further expanding his multi-million dollar business, Lauren decided to introduce a line of home furnishings. This line included furniture, home décor, linens, and tableware. In designing his new home line, he relied on a formula that had worked for him for the past two decades. His tableware designs are sophisticated, stylized classics, conveying a sense of exclusivity and refinement. Today, Lauren’s assets are valued at more than one billion dollars, a testament to the appeal and appreciation of Lauren's design genius and sense of style. Replacements, Ltd. carries a wide variety of patterns in various Ralph Lauren collections, and at great values.