Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ralph Lauren

Me and Ralph Lauren
Did you see Ralph Lauren on Oprah, yesterday?
Go to to read the interview.
Maybe the show will be on video there as well soon.
She toured his ranch in Colorado, spent the night and had dinner.
I've long admired this man who started off his life as Ralph Lifshitz.
Born of Russian immigrant parents...he truly has lived the American Dream.
Actually, he has designed what the American Dream looks like for many of us.
A glimpse of one of his new bedding collections.

I had read about him and how he started his business before but never had I seen him interviewed.
He seems to be such a nice level headed guy too and has raised his family to have great values and work ethic.
He began his company by designing and making men's ties that he tried to get Bloomingdale's to carry.
They wanted them but only if he'd remove his brand - Polo from the label and put the Bloomingdale's name on them.
He refused. Six months later Bloomingdale's came to him and they said they wanted them and they would keep the Polo name. 

So he had a display in Bloomingdale's. 
A year later...he goes in the store and sees a display next to his of very similar ties with the Bloomingdale's label on them. 
He felt ripped off as they had blatantly copied him. 
But a manager at the store pulled him aside and said, "Your's are better, they are made with love."
And that has made all the difference.
A bit of his Spring 2011 line

Now the ME part of this story...
Twenty years ago I was on vacation with my Mom and sister in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

My Mom and sister had long tired of walking the Plaza shopping. 
It was getting to be end of the day, they'd gone back to wait in the park in the center of the 
Plaza for me to finish shopping. 
The stores were closing up and I was headed back to them when a group of young men came my way 
and stopped in front of the Ralph Lauren store. In the middle of all these casual yet fashionably dressed 
young men was none other than Ralph himself!

They were checking out the store window displays and were talking about how this and 
that looked while he listened and nodded. 
He looked exactly like this....
I'm not one very impressed by celebrities, they are people just like the rest of us.
But I was very much star struck that day.
I watched them for a bit till they went in the store. 
I remember I even had on my long pink linen Polo skirt that day accessorized with lots of turquoise.
Of course the skirt I'd bought off the sale rack at a discount store. 
It had a flaw in the fabric that you couldn't notice unless it was pointed out.

Anyway, I've seen presidents and movie stars and met a few celebrities
and have never felt the rush I felt that day. I raced to tell my Mom and sister.
My sister could have cared less and my Mom was 
"Ralph who?" 
I explained and pointed at the tag in my skirt. But she was unimpressed. 
I'd just seen a fashion icon and she had no idea who I was talking about. was great to see that interview of him yesterday on Oprah 
and see what a nice man he seems to be.

Have you ever seen anyone famous that thrilled you?


Etcetorize said...

What a great story! I'd be a little start struck if I ran into Ralph Lauren too. I think his Spring 2011 collection is his best ever! So early but romantic at the same time. Love it~

Red Gate Farm said...

What a fabulous story! I too love Ralph Lauren... a rather timeless designer (at least in my opinion!).

The only famous person I've seen was Tom Hanks (and Rita Wilson) at Disneyland... we had to wait longer in line for a ride on the "submarines" because he was there with his family... it was fun though!


Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

I'd get a thrill seeing Ralph Lauren. I met Ralph Fiennes after a play in NYC and he signed my copy of English Patient. I almost fainted. Good thing my hubby was there to catch me! Ha! He snapped a photo of us. Thanks for the alert! I'll be looking for the interview.

Screaming Meme said...

Awww! How cool is that! ;) Love him! ICON! And so gorgeous too! I need to check my DVR...I know I have it...Yay!

Sunny Simple Life said...

I still have that American Flag sweater. Classic. Love RL.

the gardener's cottage said...

hi nita,

i love this story. i'm with you, never star struck but lord help me the day i run into him. which will prob be never, but still. i loved the interview too. he just seems like a nice guy. his family obviously adores him and i don't think there is a higher compliment than that.


La Vie Quotidienne said...

I agree with you he is a talented mutifaceted designer...his clothes are always glorious...and that!

Emily {Frilly Details} said...

I'm so glad I turned the tv on to catch Oprah yesterday. I was so impressed with Ralph Lauren. That's so exciting that you've seen him in person!

Debra@Common Ground said...

It really was a great interview. What amazed me is his family life. 46 years of marriage. I've been in love with his way of life for years.
We met Brad Pitt at our country club on a quiet Sunday evening dinner about 18 years ago, right after he did Interview with a Vampire. His hair was still long and he was oh so cute. My daughter still has the napkin he autographed for her.
Great post, Nita! xoxo Debra

The enchanted home said...

Saw it and watched in awe as I took in the incredible dream like surroundings, the wonderful family that he is blessed to have and his amazing wife, who I love, Ricky! She is a doll and such a kind and gentle soul...definetly the soft quite force behind his success. I was also very impressed with his kids, they were just all down to earth and rally personable. Ralph is the icon for sure in my post today I featured his amazingly gorgeous restuarant in Paris...this guy can do NO wrong!! A total genius!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

I did see part if the show yesterday. Love his new bedding. May have to have those shams.

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

Great post Nita! I love RL and his style has captured most of America. What a fun moment in time you have for yourself. So funny that they were like Ralph who? I have met a few celebs, you get to see them a lot of Marthas Vineyard. One was Billy Crystal, seated in the same restaurant with his wife and two girls. Bill O'Reilly, the same thing`dining with his fam, Carly (on the ferry looking gorgeous and chic), James Taylor (eating out and exchanging glances) Bill Clinton at the golf course (he stopped to speak to me and held my hand the whole time), Mike Wallace on his wedding night at a restaurant, James Taylor dining out, Dan Ackroyd, dining out at a fancy place and breaking the rules about no jeans, Donna Summer hanging out at a local dance bar, elegant Diane Sawyer at a local concert, OJ Simpson's lawyer Alan Dershowitz at the local agricultural fair during the summer of the biggest trial ever...never saw any Kennedys. Would love to have seen Jackie O! It is funny recalling these people...we are all just living out lives all at the same time, and sometimes we cross paths.

Katy said...

I love your personal story about seeing Ralph Lauren! I would have joine din your excitement ;0) The interview with Oprah was great! I just loved the teepees (sp?) all decked out in RL style. I could spend a good couple week vacation wholed up in one of those. Thanks for sharing :0) Blessings, Katy

Cozy Little House said...

Oh, is he handsome or what? That thick head of hair and that smile. Not to mention the talent!

Cindy said...

Wonderful story, dear lady, he is very handsome, isn't he. I love his bedding, it is exactly what I love!!! and the clothing is that sweet mix of rough/luxe. Adorable!
I have seen almost all of the Royal family, because of Canada being a Commonwealth Country they visit here periodically. I hear Will and Kate will be visiting Canada in the near future. I will never forget seeing his lovely mother, Princess Di was the most thrilling of all of that family to see, I must say! I stood on a street corner for several hours just to see her.
Love and hugs, Cindy

Denise said...

I forgot to watch. uurrrr! I was hoping that they would show his home's interior. I have been a long time fan of his. The way he mixes the leathers and the western with the lace and ruffles. I love that look.

kayce hughes said...

I worked for him for 5 years and he was always kind as well as charismatic.

oldblackcatboo said...

Well, since my little Jack Russell Terrier mix is named Ralphie Lauren. you KNOW that I would be excited!
:) - Cindi

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

WOW...the man never ages and neither do his CREATIONS! LOVELY STORY DEAREST! Anita

Belinda said...

LOVE Ralph Lauren!!! I can't believe you got to see him in person!

When I was in high school "the" thing was Polo shirts. You had to drive to a bigger town either 30 or 60 minutes away to find a store that carried them. I was so thrilled to get a lavender one for my 16th birthday! :)

He's a classic!

JoAnn S. said...

great story and a great man, I love his stuff, its timeless. I am glad he didnt ruin his reputation like many other big names in the news. Lucky you!!! I did see Mary Lou Henner in a LA restaurant across the room lol also Lloyd Bridges,Sea Hunt fame, going down the steps of max factor in Hollywood, so long ago I wont mention when lolol.He was sooo handsome when he smiled at me with those big blue eyes. You write such great stories I love coming here and seeing what you have next!!! Keep your spirits up,good things have to be ahead in your professional life. Hugs JoAnn

Anonymous said...

Great story. Loved learning a bit more about Ralph Lauren.. love his new bedding collection.

~ Jo

p.s. thanks for your input on my new header. :)

"Create Beauty" said...

I really like the 'prairie' ~ or is it 'cowgirl glam' in his spring clothing line!

~ Violet

Natasha said...

I love everything about Ralph Lauren's style. I can't wait to see the clip of him on Oprah. I will keep an eye on the site for it.

Thanks for sharing your story about his background too. He inspires me even more now!

Best wishes,

Kathy said...

Can't say that I've ever met anyone as famous as *your* Ralph, very cool post

Pamela said...

His new bedding line looks just dreamy! I have a bedskirt in our guest room from one of his lines. Its kinda colorful and I am getting a lil over it and this set would be perfect!

Laurel Stephens said...

Ralph Lauren's photo was peeking out at the bottom of your link party post today, and I just had to come and investigate. I'm a huge fan of Ralph Lauren, the man, and not just because he's drop dead gorgeous and brimming with talent. Like you, I admire that he's down to earth and raised his kids well. (Art Garfunkel smiled a big smile right at me in the San Francisco airport once. His eyes sparkle. Sigh...)

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