When anyone reaches the personal milestone of their 50th birthday the celebrations naturally feel like a retrospective of their life, surrounded by their loved ones, discussing, laughing and honouring their triumphs as much as their adversities, with the underlying feeling of wisdom and inner peace that can only come with six hundred months of enriching life experiences and the tender touch of time passing. For Ralph Lauren, though, it’s a completely different realm. To make it to your fiftieth birthday is one thing, but to make it to your fiftieth anniversary having survived one of the most fickle industries in the world is an astonishing accomplishment.
My partnership with Ralph Lauren began at his 50th anniversary show in New York a few months ago. It was sophisticated, it was refined, it was a celebration of his life. The guest list was as impressive with the likes of Hilary Clinton and Robert de Niro in attendance. Oprah even spoke at the reception; a private, seated, candlelit dinner surrounding the Bethesda Fountain in the heart of Central Park without a tourist in sight. The event was spectacular and complex but true to form, it was executed with ease and grace. A true reflection of the fashion veteran who has spent his life building one of the most successful fashion empires in the world.
Especially as it was just announced that Ralph Lauren is the first American designer to receive an honorary British knighthood from the Queen.
So this story is an ode to Ralph Lauren; each look is from his impressive archives spanning across the past fifty years. Look closely and you still won’t be able to tell what era they’re from, cementing the fact that his classic designs indeed stand the test of time.
To Ralph, as respected, inspiring and hard-working as ever.