I am still basking in the afterglow of attending An Evening with Ralph Lauren. Oprah hosted the event held at Lincoln Center. It was a continuation of a conversation that the two had started on her talk show. It ended on a stage in Alice Tully Hall, with tears (mostly by me) and a respect for Ralph and his accomplishments that I can barely put into words.
The two have become good friends and they have quite a lot in common. Ralph expressed his unwavering vision and belief in himself as the primary reason for his success. His empire came out of a dream that he himself wanted, a way of life! He remained vigilant and very focused.
Trust your instincts and stay true to who you are.
It all starts with the tie story. Ralph created wide ties when everyone was wearing thin ties. He created the polo pony logo because he liked the idea of polo and it was classic (remember* create the dream). Many, especially those at Bloomingdales in NY, whose opinions really mattered to Ralph at the time, wanted him to make some changes; thin the ties a bit and create the ties under their name. In exchange they would give him a huge order. Ralph said, "NO!" Bloomingdales came back to Ralph 6 months later and put in a nice order without changing a thing!
Ralph was the first fashion designer to create a home division in the early 1980's. He believed in his kind of all American classicism and that extended beyond the closet. His is a lifestyle brand. He has grown Polo into a muti-billion dollar company because "Style is international."
Oprah asked Ralph how he keeps himself fresh and relevant after 40 years. Ralph said, "Fear and not following trends." Then we were treated to a fashion show featuring the 2012 spring collection. I am gonna need a sorbet colored boa!
|ph; Larry Busacea/Getty Images|
Ralph is unapologetic about all his success. He loves the life he leads and the ability to lead the life he aspired to. After all, he will tell you ~ he did it by himself, his way. But what really feeds him besides his family is giving back!
The evening benefitted The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care & Prevention. The evening was a celebration of Ralph's creative genius and philanthropic endeavors. Bravo Ralph, here's to you!
And a good time was had by all (again, mostly me)!
all photos by CLI unless otherwise noted.