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Ralph lifschitz featured in architectural digest

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by faustian bargain, Oct 13, 2004.

  1. FIHTies

    FIHTies Well-Known Member

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    1) The fact that someone is shielded at youth from being the victim of Anti Semitism doesnt mean that he didnt change his name to Avoid future anti semitism and to be more accepted in the fashion world. Lauren sounds chic. Lifschitz doesnt.

    2) If the name change was meant to convince, he has done a nice job convincing.

    Its like most things in life. When leading anything its not necessarily what you know its more important who (as in subordinates) you surround yourself with.

    I once posted a great link on a Mark Twain story called luck.

    JJF
     
  2. arvi

    arvi Well-Known Member

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    OK..I'M DONE WITH THIS THREAD [​IMG] ...I NEVER REALIZED HOW GALVANIZING RALPH COULD BE..SORT OF LIKE MENTIONING HILLARY C. OR GEORGE W. AT A COCKTAIL PARTY
     
  3. TCN

    TCN Well-Known Member

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    I don't begrudge Lauren his success, name, or anything frankly. He has earned his success, and admittedly I still think Polo makes a lot of great items; moreover, despite being an uber-sized fashion conglomerate, they have maintained a similar image and consistency for a long time.

    That said, I expected the interior of Ralph's house to be done a bit better than it was (for my own personal tastes). The exterior and grounds looked spectacular though.
     
  4. FIHTies

    FIHTies Well-Known Member

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    I am glad you brought Hillary Up... Did you know that... Nahhh. Maybe I Shouldnt. [​IMG] JJF
     
  5. christian

    christian Well-Known Member

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    But, he was already playing around with different names when he was still a child, before he even thought of becoming a fashion designer. You don't think this somewhat disturbing. It's not like he came from a disgraced family; he comes from a line of rabbis.
     
  6. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Well-Known Member

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    in fact there is a jacket of some sort on display on the buffet/side table in the dining room. if i were an expert i could identify it, but it's a red uniform type of jacket. ahhhhhh, well i was just using 'lifschitz' perhaps to be provocative. i think mr FIHTies might have to break my head. [​IMG] ...in fact i don't happen to agree with LAGuy that RL's jewish heritage makes his WASPy incarnation pathetic, rather i believe he is representing a valid way of being that is perhaps distinctly american. 'assimilation' may sound ominous, so let's say he has reinvented himself using the dominant language of success prevalent in this country. i think he is who he wants to be, and that fact is to be admired. i think he is a good representative of the notion that none of us are beholden to our heritages, pasts, or upbringings. ... which is not to say he automatically has good taste. i'll look at the article again at lunchtime. /andrew
     
  7. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Well-Known Member

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    faustian bargain--

    All praise for your latest post. For goodness' sake, self-invention is practically a defining characteristic of the American experience. And who said that polo shirts, or blazers--or, for that matter, Arapahoe war bonnets--belong to one ethnic group alone? (Did the Arapahoe have war bonnets?)

    And if you're named Archie Leach or Ralph Lifschitz, or whatever Judy Garland started out with, you'd be crazy not to try on a fresh moniker.

    Just my HO.
     
  8. AJL

    AJL Well-Known Member

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    Polo Ralph Lifschitz? I don't think so...
     
  9. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Well-Known Member

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    well i looked at the pictorial (just scanned the text).

    his house (one of 5, i believe) is pretty much an expression of his style. traditional, english-inflected, casual elegance. the walls are covered in 19th century art. the rooms are various color schemes, some dark, some light. you could say there's a 'cluttered' look to the place, in the pictures at least. very non-minimal. lots of tartan fabrics, and leather chairs. the library is beautiful, IMO; it looks pretty comfortable. his closet/dressing room is pretty amazing - huge collection of equestrian riding boots. apparently they are part of his everyday wear, along with an extensive collection of jean jackets and cashmere sweaters.

    from the pictures i can't tell really what it would feel like to be there - they are obviously staged and very clean, but what i don't know is how the place feels in terms of new/old. you know, the 'pottery barn' effect, something new made to look old. i don't know if it's a museum, or a real livable space.

    the other thing to consider is, the house is huge in terms of square footage (17,000) - yet the pictures cover only maybe 1/10th of the area. so you don't know if the rest of the house looks like Nick & Jessica's or not.

    /andrew
     
  10. november

    november Well-Known Member

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    Mmmm,

    Why is wrong with Lifschitz? I find this to be a perfectly
    good last name and I don't see it is less "chic"than LAuren.
    Ralph L. has made his fortune by making clothes for those
    wanting to ape a certain class of people. It is sad he felt
    he had to hide his heritage to do so.
     
  11. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Well-Known Member

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    Reinventing oneself is a time-honored American tradition.  Why even the president went from Connecticut yankee to Texas oilman, complete with ranch, drawl, and swagger.

    As for Ralph Lauren's name change, I think it is more because of the way the name rolls off the tongue than any desire to hide his roots.  Would Tom Cruise be the biggest movie star in the world if he had kept his birth name, Thomas Cruise Mapother IV?
     
  12. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Well-Known Member

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    Mapother? [​IMG] i had no idea. that name hurts when you say it.
     
  13. oscarthewild

    oscarthewild Well-Known Member

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    Some time ago, one of these architectural mags had a spread on the Armani estate in Tuscany. Boy that was nice...

    Now his car collection, that is also something.
     
  14. kabert

    kabert Well-Known Member

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    Obviously, Ralph has to convey a certain image, both in looks, dress and possessions. I don't think his physical looks would "work" very well in an aristocratic/English costume (that is so prominent in Polo ads). He's more country boy IMO. So, I think the Western image is more or less fitting. I think at least one of his properties is a 100,000+ acre farm in Montana....

    Anyone know where in Westchester, NY the featured house is?
     
  15. otis

    otis Well-Known Member

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    Clarification - his real name is spelled "Lifshitz". The previous posts are correct in that he did decide to change it in his teens well before deciding to start a business. According to various biographies it was actually his brother Jerry who came up with the name Lauren and they both changed it together. I've read a quote by Ralph himself, I believe it was in the Oprah interview a couple of years ago, where he commented on the difficulty of growing up with a last name that contained "shit" in the spelling.

    For all the naysayers, the reality is that Ralph is just living the American dream. Sure he lives in somewhat of a fantasy world, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone else who's done a better job of creating a better way of life for themselves. I often think he's sort of living in a real life Cary Grant film, where everything is perfectly orchestrated.

    FYI on his houses:
    * Bedford - pictured in the article discussed here. Also covered in Town & Country 1996.
    * Manhattan - very modern 8000 sq ft apt on 5th ave. Pictured in AD during early 1980s, no modern coverage, but is shown briefly in recent Purple Label campaign (where Ralph is wearing the Panerai watch).
    * Montauk - beach "cottage", aparently where his kids spent much of their time growing up. Also where he houses a large part of his 100+ classic auto collection. Picture in Harper's Bazaar late 2000.
    * Telluride - 15,000+ acre ranch - shown in AD during late 2002.
    * Round Hill, Jamaica - owns a house and beachside villa at the resort. Have never seen detailed pictures of the main house, but the villa is covered in Vogue early 2001.
     
  16. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the clarification and additional info.

    sorry about the misspelling...i googled for 'ralph lifschitz' and got lots of results, so i figured that was it. i didn't bother to check 'lifshitz'.

    /andrew

    ***edit: did you know that when you google 'ralph lifshitz' the first site on the list is polo.com? i thought that was interesting.
     
  17. imageWIS

    imageWIS Well-Known Member

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    I know a gentleman that owns a home in Montauk a few "˜doors' down the beach from RL's and he tells me that often you see RL in one of his classic cars...sometimes perched outside of the car, over the hood off to the side of the road because they have broken down for some reason or another.

    Jon.
     
  18. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Well-Known Member

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    he needs to fire his mechanic, if that's true. [​IMG]
     
  19. imageWIS

    imageWIS Well-Known Member

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    Well, Bugatti's tend to be temperamental...oh, but once they get going. They are like a bat out of hell. Jon.
     
  20. cuffthis

    cuffthis Well-Known Member

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    I have to chime in here. Being relatively new on this board, I am surprised and disappointed by the derision by most of these posts concerning Ralph Lauren, especially this one.

    It appears to me that success is being ridiculed. Changing ones name is no big deal. Creating images of "lifestyles" is how Ralph started, how he built his empire, and how he continues to lead his company. And it's brilliant marketing and it works.

    I happen to like what he does. No, let me rephrase that. I LOVE what he does.

    I like coming home to my house, sitting on my RL furniture with menswear influenced fabrics and reading by my RL lamps. They have style. If he didn't create them, I would have created something similar myself.

    The same with my clothes. 90% of the clothes in my closet are by RL. Did I buy them for the label? No. I bought them as I like the fabrics, cut and quality. The designs and fabrics were things that I could not find elsewhere. And, no, I don't have any of the standard Polo shirts or oxford button downs that they sell in every department store or RL outlet. Each year, time after time, Polo comes out with wonderful limited edition items that are only available at the retail stores. And they are stunning works of art that show true sense of timeless style.

    The same for my 30+ suits and even more number of sport coats. Substantially all of my jackets are double vented with ticket pockets and functional buttonholes. Most are Purple Label but the older ones are the Blue Label and even the ones approacing 20 years of age still fit, have held up well and are still in style, with no large variations in lapel width, button stance, etc. That's timeless quality.

    I also prefer self-waisted trousers. Other than bespoke, how many manufacturers make trousers with side button tabs or d-ring adjusters? Paul Stuart does, but I don't get to NYC or Chicago often to purchase them.

    It's ok to say you don't like Ralph Lauren or his products. You, like me, are entitled to an opinion. But for heaven's sake, make a more convincing argument other than saying he's a sell out or a fake.

    I will step off my soapbox now.
     

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