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Who doesn't love a man in Polo? Classic and refined, yet easy, Polo represents the best of American men's fashion, and can make any guy look polished and put together. Thanks to the singular vision and determination of Ralph Lauren, Polo has reached iconic status, and remains one of the world's most trusted and respected brands more than 40 years after it began.
Ralph Lauren Biography
Ralph Lauren was born Ralph Lifshitz on Oct. 14, 1939. The youngest of four children, Lauren was raised in the Bronx, New York, in a middle-class Jewish family. His father painted houses for a living, while his mother took care of the children. Lauren's interest in fashion goes all the way back to 7th grade. As a young teenager, Lauren saved money from his after-school job at a department store just to buy quality, stylish clothing. After high school, Lauren went to college to study business, but dropped out and joined the Army. When he left the Army two years later, he decided to pursue a career in the clothing industry, in spite of his lack of formal design training. He worked as a salesman for Brooks Brothers, and eventually landed a job designing ties for Beau Brummell.
In the mid 1960s, Ralph Lauren decided that the common necktie was in need of a fresh new infusion of style. He believed that men wanted their neckties to say something about who they were, instead of making every man look like he "worked for IBM." In 1967, he created a new line of ties that was wider than usual, and that featured bold patterns and a new assortment of colors. He called his tie line "Polo," choosing the name for the genteel elegance, style and sophistication the British sport represented. The brand eventually expanded to include suits, dress shirts, dress pants, chinos, jeans, shoes, accessories and even swimwear.
Polo's Signature Style
Polo was designed to embody classic American style, with a touch of upper-class British elegance. The interesting thing about Ralph Lauren is that he considers himself "anti-fashion." He believes that fashion is too transient, which drives him to create looks for Polo based on a specific taste level and overall feeling, rather than the latest trend. Each piece in the Polo brand is designed to both stand the test of time and offer the wearer a fresh, new look that allows him to express his individual style.
Modern Polo designs forgo some of the buttoned-down, tucked-in look of previous decades--which could sometimes read as stuffy--in favor of an easier, fresher, more "lived- in" style. However, they still have that classy, upscale edge that's unmistakeably Lauren. Polo's Spring 2011 collection--the latest collection to debut as of the writing of this article--features the classic preppy look with a safari-inspired twist. This collection is all about light layers. with fresh, creative mixes of cool and neutral color tones. True to his philosophy of helping the "everyman" achieve style and sophistication, the Ralph Lauren website has a feature that helps men create a signature seasonal look.