When the Daily News Record published its first mention of a stylish young tie salesman whose own clothes always seemed to be a season ahead of the market, they probably had no idea he’d still be blazing trails more than half a century later. It was 1964—a few years before the launch of the Polo brand⎯but the fashion world was already beginning to take notice of Ralph Lauren.A new book from DNR’s sister publication, WWD: Fifty Years of Ralph Lauren traces the journey of Ralph Lauren from trendsetting tie salesman to America’s most iconic and influential designer. Integral moments in the brand’s history, like the launch of the first Polo fragrance, the debut of the Double RL and Lauren Ralph Lauren brands, and the opening of the Rhinelander Mansion flagship, are documented, along with personal milestones for Mr. Lauren including four CFDA awards and the launch of the philanthropic Pink Pony initiative. (Not to mention a plug from self-described “confirmed Polo fan” Frank Sinatra.) As every great story needs a great beginning, we look at the early years of the brand through the lens of its first coverage in WWD, below.
- Photograph courtesy Ralph Lauren Corporation
- Photographs courtesy of Rizzoli