rhinelander mansion

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren is an American clothing designer best known for his sportswear line, Polo Ralph Lauren, which is the centerpiece of his fashion empire.
Ralph Lauren was born Ralph Lifshitz in the Bronx, New York City, on October 14, 1939. His parents were Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants from Belarus. At the age of 16, Ralph and his brother Jerry changed their last name to Lauren, having been teased consistently at school. Another brother, Lenny, retained the family name.
In 1967, Lauren began designing men’s neckties, branding them under the name “Polo” and selling them at large department stores, including Bloomingdale’s. Lauren then expanded his designs to a full menswear line.
In 1970, Lauren was awarded the Coty Award for his menswear designs. Following this recognition, he released a line of women’s suits tailored in a classic men’s style. In 1972, Lauren released a short-sleeve cotton shirt in 24 colors. This design, emblazoned with the Polo logo, became the brand’s signature look. Lauren subsequently broadened his brand to include a luxury clothing line called Ralph Lauren Purple, a home-furnishing collection called Ralph Lauren Home, and a collection of fragrances. Polo currently produces clothing for men, women and children. Lauren has also designed Olympic uniforms for Team USA.
Polo expanded rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s, opening boutiques across the United States and abroad. In 1984, Lauren opened the flagship store in New York’s Rhinelander Mansion. The company went public on June 11, 1997, traded under the symbol RL.
The success of Polo has earned Lauren a personal fortune estimated at $6.5 billion. This figure, if accurate, would make Lauren the 122nd richest person in the world.

1986: The Rhinelander Mansion

Opens For Business

 The building was designed by famed New York architects Kimball & Thompson in the 1980s, based on chateaux of the Loire Valley. After extensive research into the few original plans that could be obtained, Mr. Lauren attempted to re-create its opulence. The result is a five-floor environment, with hand-carved mahogany balustrades, oak floors and marble fireplaces.