Good evening, I just finished reading Michael Gross' Genuine Authentic: The real life of Ralph Lauren. Mr Gross lost the cooperation of Mr Lauren in the writing of the book, but I felt that he presented a balanced view of Mr Lauren. Some interesting tidbits: - The bulk of the money is made from polo knit shirts and chinos, most of them sold in factory outlets - The Rhinelander store in Manhattan and Purple Label items do not really make much money, if at all - Ralph Lauren is said to hire and fire based on looks, not on competence - Stores are said to hide their non-white employees in stockrooms when Ralph Lauren visits - Ralph Lauren is a perfectionist and unreasonably demanding of everyone - He couldn't decide which shade of cashmere curtains he wanted for one of his homes, so he had four made for his choosing Despite all the negative things said about him, I have enormous respect for him after reading the book. He is a person who had a rather depressing childhood, always the person outside looking in. He may be called a phony, pushing goods that assure the insecure, but so are the millions of people who buy his goods everyday. Besides, he cannot create a fashion empire based on Jewish style clothing. Which reminds me of what Tom Ripley in The Talented Mr Ripley said: "It's better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody."
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10/31/04 at 7:48pm