Ralph Lauren: The New American Brand

Ralph Lauren Dreams in California

The Ralph Lauren Corporation was founded in 1964 in New York to produce sportswear for men. Ralph Lauren, born in 1940, has had a hand in its growth from there. The first collection, which has since become one of the most iconic in fashion, is perhaps the most recognizable of all Lauren’s creations.

In 1969, Lauren hired Peter Edelman to head his clothing designs. At the time, Lauren was still known primarily as a sportswear designer, but he realized that the company’s future depended on attracting high-end clients. In that aim, he sought an opportunity abroad. This led to a successful move to Paris in 1971. That was his first attempt to expand U.S. design beyond the traditional realm, into the modern world.

There, Lauren designed a line for the French couturier Yves Saint Laurent, based on the design of a bag he had brought from New York. When the company opened its doors in 1979, it was doing well and had become the number one American designer.

In the late ’90s, Lauren left the company to concentrate on his film career, which had been going strong for nearly a decade. Then, in 2004, he decided to make another move. He took stock of the company and its design and created a new concept: an American brand that would be a mix of American and European ideas, a blend that would result in a new, unique line of outerwear. That new line was called Ralph Lauren, and it was given a name that signaled the company’s intention to move out beyond its New York origins to become a global brand. With its name and its new logo, it could be identified as an American brand, one that would be global, yet still a brand that was unique to any one country.

By its fourth year of business, the company had grown into an international company. The apparel collection, which began with a single color, red, was now called Lauren, following Lauren’s New York nickname. That logo had been designed by the very same people who had designed the logo for the New York store.

The company has since expanded to

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