Preppy/Ivy League and WASP Mogul Ralph Lauren, celebrates his birthday today, October 14.
Born Ralph Lifshitz in the Bronx, New York, but later changed his family name to Lauren. He changed it because as he put it "My name had the word s_ _ t in it." Ralph Lauren was fashion aware at a very early age. By spending his hard-earned pocket money on expensive suits, Lauren became the best dressed 12-year-old in his neighborhood . It wasn’t long before the young entrepreneur left his middle class Jewish roots behind him to set out on a quest to establish his very own fashion empire. Rather than study design, he completed most of a business degree and learned his trade
through evening jobs. While working at one of these jobs, he began designing wide ties and
with a $50,000 loan, Lauren founded the company Polo Fashions in 1968. Polo went on to champion the ‘power suit’ of the early 80's in the face of strong competition from Armani. With expansion firm in his sights, Lauren branched out into women's clothing, sheets, towels and furniture. Through sheer hard work and exacting standards, Ralph Lauren has become the epitome of classic fashion, with brands such as
Polo, Ralph Lauren for Men, Ralph Lauren for Women and even Ralph Lauren paint. His
company is estimated to be worth a staggering $900 million.
He is 71 today.