It is obvious that the world of literature and cinema are closely linked, but very often bridges are created with other arts. So how can we talk about the Ralph Lauren Universe without taking a trip through its history and what allowed the young kid from the Bronx to become one of the most influential designers in the world?
Cradled in literary and cinematic influence, we explain how this has resonated through his work in fashion.
Polo, an expanding universe.
How can we talk about Ralph Lauren without taking a trip into his history and in what allowed the young kid from the Bronx to become one of the most influential designers in the world?
Born to Russian parents, he dreamed of a golden American youth in the Ivy League. At the age of 20, he found a job in the famous men's clothing store, Brooks Brothers, at the same time, he also rubbed shoulders with Calvin Klein who also lived in the same neighborhood. The two designers became friends.
While Ralph was working at Brooks Brothers, he began to make blue and white striped ties in his spare time. These ties helped him stand out to the entrepreneur Norman Hilton, from whom he borrowed $50,000 to launch his brand.
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Today Polo Ralph Lauren is a brand recognized worldwide, drawing its influences from the Ivy League with many colors, the world of sports and other cowboy dressing. Later on, a multitude of brands such as Purple Label, Polo Sport and a range of decorative objects will follow.
The books that inspired RL.
Throughout his life, Ralph was strongly inspired and immersed in the imagination of a large number of books. We are going to present you a small selection of them which will be the occasion to better understand the thoughts and the inspirations of the creator.
The first title of this selection will be Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen also called La Ferme Africaine in its French version, this book recounts the life of the character that is the Baroness Von Blixen-Finecke and her 17 years spent in Africa. This book would later have a huge impact on her most iconic 1984 Woman collection.
Continuing with inspirational books, we find for example My Antonia written by Willa Cather.In this book, you will meet Jim Burden, a young orphan who leaves to join the rest of his family in Nebraska. In this work, you will follow the journey of two characters closely linked, but with very different destinies. The novel echoes the pioneers who, with countless expeditions, conquered the immense territory that is the United States.
To continue in the books that have marked the life of the creator, we find a good number that have been adapted to the cinema. Among the most iconic are Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, The Sun also Rises by Ernest Hemingway and The Greatest Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. All of his books will feature powerful and profound characters from whom he will draw many of his inspirations.
An illustrated biography.
As previously mentioned, the very famous fashion designer was able to build a brand that became a pioneer in the fashion world from simple ties. An inspiring and fully illustrated story, telling the objectives of the designer through his biography.
The book is entitled Ralph Lauren: In his own Fashion written by Alan Flusser and edited by Abrams UK. It is good to know that this book was published for the 80th anniversary of RL. This book mixes a high-flying reflection with an expedition within his intimacy. It realistically illustrates how a young boy from the Bronx created one of the most recognizable and important brands in American fashion.
Books about Ralph Lauren.
The creator of the brand has two books about him. The first one, entitled Ralph Lauren, was published in 2007. He speaks frankly about his life and his art on the occasion of the 40 years of the brand through many photos that present his family life and his private life. Through his writing, he talks about his life, his inspirations, and his work.
The second book is called Untitled Autobiography and it was published in 2019. It is an autobiography of the designer in which he confides in the rise of the brand. He tells about the risks taken, the difficult moments, and talks about the skeptical and complicated competition to overcome. He also confesses his triumphs and the contacts that helped him to overcome the difficult trials of his life.
A step into film.
From a very young age, the creator has been a great fan of sports, literature and the seventh art.
Thanks to his attraction to literature, Polo Ralph Lauren will gradually enter the elite world of cinema by creating clothing lines for the film Gatsby the Magnificent or Annie Hall. If we look a little more closely at the case of Gatsby, the men's clothing in the film came exclusively from Polo, but with one exception: Robert Redford's suit was specially designed by Ralph himself.
Concerning the case of Annie Hall, a large part of the costumes that Diane Keaton wears throughout the film will be signed, Ralph Lauren. These same costumes will also earn her an Oscar for best look as well as numerous citations and an appearance in Vogue.
Thereafter, we will find decorative objects of the brand in the interiors of the most wealthy and in their dressing room.
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