Ralph lifschitz featured in architectural digest

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

  1. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior 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?
     
  2. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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

    oscarthewild Senior 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.
     
  4. kabert

    kabert Senior 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?
     
  5. 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.
     
  6. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior 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.
     
  7. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior 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.
     
  8. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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

    imageWIS Senior 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.
     
  10. cuffthis

    cuffthis Senior 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.
     
  11. christian

    christian Senior member

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    This has to be a joke, right? Basically, if it has the RL label on it, you are willing to buy it. And, yet, you're saying they're not buying it for the label?

    A lot of his stuff does not represent good quality or value. Look at his overpriced shirts for example.
     
  12. otis

    otis Well-Known Member

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    Great post cuffthis. I second everything you said. I too have a closet full of Polo clothing that has proved to be timeless and virtually indestructible.

    My only complaint is that RL doesn't offer off the rack suits in my size (39L). You would think a guy sized like Ralph would be sympathetic to odd sizes but I understand they are running a business.

    BTW has anyone had any experience with MTM at RL?
     
  13. cuffthis

    cuffthis Senior member

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    [/quote]This has to be a joke, right? Basically, if it has the RL label on it, you are willing to buy it. And, yet, you're saying they're not buying it for the label?
     
  14. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I really like some of Ralph Lauren's Purple label stuff, especially his earlier collections; and I actually find the cut of his blue label suits more to my liking than Corneliani's self labeled suits. And although it's a lifestyle I do not aspire to, I agree that Ralph Lauren's is a lifestyle brand, and that his marketing has been genius. My comment was directed towards Ralph's apparent self-loathing. Self invention is one thing. After all, without it, what exactly is the point of college [​IMG] But changing one's name, actively and deliberately dissociating oneself with one's heritage? That, imho, is something else altogether.
     
  15. arvi

    arvi Senior member

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    well here i am again...couldn't resist even after what i said the other day.. what about all the movie actors and actresses that have changed their names not because they reject their heritage or as an act of self-loathing(a little extreme, this phrase imo) but for no other reason than aesthetics &/or marketing? we can't all be born as giorgio armani or calvin klein [​IMG]
     

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