Ralph Lauren Corporation

Ralph Lauren Corporation
Traded as
Industry Design
Predecessor Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation
Founded 1967 (1967)
Founder Ralph Lauren
Headquarters New York City, New York, United States
Area served
Key people
  • Tailoring
Revenue Decrease US$ 7,4 billion (2016)[2]
Decrease US$ 794 million (2016)[2]
Decrease US$ 546 million (2016)[2]
Total assets Increase US$ 6,2 billion (2016)[2]
Total equity Decrease US$ 3,8 billion (2016)[2]
Number of employees
23,000 (2014)[3]
  • Club Monaco Corporation
  • Polo Jeans Company, LLC
  • Ralph Lauren Home Collections, Inc.
  • Ralph Lauren Media, LLC
  • Ralph Lauren Watch and Jewelry Company SÀRL (50%)
  • RL Fragrances, LLC
Website ralphlauren.com

Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE: RL) is an American corporation. They are considered a global leader in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products in four categories: apparel, home, accessories and fragrances. For almost 50 years, Ralph Lauren's reputation and distinctive image have been consistently developed across an expanding number of products, brands and international markets. The Company's brand names, which include Polo Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Ralph Lauren Collection, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Double RL, Ralph Lauren Childrenswear, Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren, Chaps and Club Monaco, constitute one of the world's most widely recognized families of consumer brands. According to a study conducted in January 2016 by Millward Brown, their men’s luxury is perceived as number one in power by the consumer and number three in premium, women’s luxury is number one in power and number seven in premium, right behind Louis Vuitton, Polo is perceived as number one in power and number one in premium, and women's Lauren is number one in power and number one in premium. Ralph Lauren Corporation is an American, publicly traded holding company headquartered in New York City. Ralph Lauren Corporation began with the 1967 founding of the Polo Ralph Lauren company by American designer Ralph Lauren.


Polo Ralph Lauren – the flagship brand of the company.

The Ralph Lauren Corporation started in 1967 with men’s ties. At 28 years-old, Lauren worked for the tie manufacturer, Beau Brummell. At that time, he convinced the company's president to let him start his own line. Drawing on his interests in sports, Ralph Lauren names his first full line of menswear ‘Polo’ in 1968. He works out of a single "drawer" from a showroom in the Empire State Building and makes deliveries to stores himself.[4]

By 1969, the Manhattan department store Bloomingdale’s sells Lauren’s men line exclusively. It is the first time that Bloomingdale’s has given a designer his own in-store shop. In 1971, Ralph Lauren Corporation launched a line of tailored shirts for women, which introduce the Polo player emblem to the world for the first time, appearing on the shirt’s cuff. The first full women’s collection was launched the following year.[5]

1971 also marked the opening of Ralph Lauren’s store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California. This is the first freestanding store for an American designer. 1972 Ralph Lauren Corporation introduces a signature cotton mesh Polo shirt in various colors. Featuring the polo player logo at the chest, the shirt becomes emblematic of the preppy look--one of Ralph Lauren's signature styles. The tag line for the accompanying ad campaign: "Every team has its color -- Polo has seventeen.” [6]

In 1974, Ralph Lauren outfitted the male cast of The Great Gatsby in costumes chosen from his Polo line a 1920s-style series of men's suits and sweaters, except for the pink suit which Lauren designed especially for Robert Redford’s Jay Gatsby. In 1977, Diane Keaton and Woody Allen wear Lauren’s clothes throughout their Oscar-winning film, Annie Hall. [7]

The first Ralph Lauren fragrances, produced by Warner-Lauren, Ltd. are first launched at Bloomingdale's. Lauren, a fragrance for women, debuts on March 12, 1978, and Polo, the men's cologne, premieres on March 26, 1978. This is the first time that a designer has introduced two fragrances – one for men and one for women – simultaneously.

The company entered the European market, and went international, in 1981 with the opening of the first freestanding store for an American designer New Bond Street in the West End of London, England. Ralph Lauren opens his first flagship in the Rhinelander mansion, on Madison Avenue and 72nd Street in New York City in 1986.[8] On June 12, 1997, the company becomes a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.[9]

The 98-seat restaurant, RL, opens in March 1999 in a newly-constructed building adjacent to the largest Ralph Lauren store at the corner of Chicago and Michigan Avenues. It was followed by the opening of two additional restaurants – Ralph’s at 173 Boulevard Saint Germain Paris flagship store in 2010 and The Polo Bar at Polo’s flagship in New York in 2015.[10]

The company launched its official web site, and online shop in 2000 as polo.com by RL Media (a cooperation between Ralph Lauren and NBC). In 2007, Ralph Lauren Corporation acquired the NBC share of RL Media and the web site was relaunched as ralphlauren.com. On 29 September 2015, it was announced that Stefan Larsson would replace the company's founder, Ralph Lauren, as CEO in November. Lauren will stay on as executive chairman and chief creative officer.[11][12]


Ralph Lauren Women's Collection and Ralph Lauren Purple Label
Ralph Lauren Collection for women, launched in 1971, ranges from handmade evening gowns that walk the runway to luxury sportswear. Launched in 1994, Ralph Lauren Purple Label[13] for men offers refined suiting, custom tailored made-to-measure suits and sportswear, as well as benchmade footwear and made-to-order dress furnishings, accessories, and luggage.[14]
Ralph Lauren Watches and Fine Jewelry
In 2009 Ralph Lauren, together with internationally renowned luxury group Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, launched a premier collection of timepieces through the Ralph Lauren Watch & Jewelry Co. In 2010, the Ralph Lauren Watch & Jewelry Co. also introduced premier collections of fine jewelry.[15]
Polo Ralph Lauren
Men’s Polo, Ralph Lauren’s first complete line of sportswear and tailored clothing launched in 1968, combines Ivy League classics and time-honored English haberdashery with downtown styles and all-American sporting looks. In 2014, Women’s Polo was launched for the modern woman with a mix of bohemian romance and cool, classic sportiness.[16]
Polo Sport
Polo Sport launched in 1992, a line of performance-driven activewear for sports and fitness. In 2014, Ralph Lauren debuted the PoloTech™ Shirt, which featured smart fabric technology that captures robust biometrics from the wearer.[17]
Double RL
Founded in 1993 and named after Ralph Lauren and his wife Ricky's “RRL” ranch in Colorado, RRL offers men a mix of selvage denim, vintage apparel, sportswear and accessories, with roots in workwear and military gear.[18]
Lauren Ralph Lauren
Lauren for women launched in 1996, offering sophisticated sportswear, denim, dresses, activewear, and a wide array of accessories and footwear at a more accessible price point. Lauren for men offers a complete collection of men's tailored clothing, including suits, sport coats, dress shirts, dress pants, tuxedos, topcoats, and ties at a more accessible price point.[19]
Ralph by Ralph Lauren
Launched in 1994, Ralph by Ralph Lauren offers suit separates, sport coats, vests, and topcoats with refined luxury at an excellent value.[20]
Polo Golf and RLX Golf
Polo Golf launched in 1990 and RLX Golf launched in 1998, combining state-of-the-art performance wear with luxurious finishing touches. Over the years, Polo Golf and RLX Golf have been proud to sponsor Tom Watson, Davis Love III, Jonathan Byrd, Justin Thomas, Luke Donald, Matteo Manassero, and Billy Horschel.[21]
Pink Pony
Established in 2000, the Pink Pony campaign is a worldwide initiative in the fight against cancer. A percentage of sales from all Pink Pony products benefit the Pink Pony Fund and other major cancer charities around the world. Pink Pony primarily consists of women's sportswear and accessories crafted in luxurious fabrics. All Pink Pony items feature the iconic pink Polo Player, a symbol of the company’s commitment to the fight against cancer.[22]
Polo Ralph Lauren Children
Polo Ralph Lauren Children is designed to reflect the timeless heritage and modern spirit of Ralph Lauren’s collections for men and women. Signature classics include iconic polo knit shirts and luxurious cashmere cable sweaters.[23]
Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren
The Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren line launched in 2011, inspired by the warehouse and artist communities of Brooklyn, New York and authentic style found in the music festival scene. Denim & Supply represents a laid-back style of clothes that is urban, rustic and bohemian.[24]
Chaps represent a complete lifestyle collection for the entire family and home, with casual sportswear, workday essentials, and fashionable dresses.[25]
Club Monaco
Club Monaco designs and markets its own clothing and accessories for men and women, offering key fashion pieces with modern, urban sophistication and a selection of updated classics.[26]
American Living
American Living for women, launched in 2008, offers a world of fashion with everyday essentials, as well as dresses for special occasions at an incredible value.[27]
Ralph Lauren Home and Paint
Ralph Lauren Home, the first complete home collection from an American clothing designer, makes its debut in 1983 with home furnishings and accessories that reflect the style and craftsmanship synonymous with the name Ralph Lauren. Ralph Lauren Home includes furniture, bed and bath linens, china, crystal, silver, decorative accessories and gifts, as well as lighting, fabric, wallcovering, and floorcovering. Ralph Lauren launched Paint in 1995, now with over 400 palettes.[28]
In 1978, Ralph Lauren launched his first fragrances: Lauren for women and Polo for men. Originally produced by Warner-Lauren, Ltd, L’Oréal now produces the Ralph Lauren Fragrances portfolio consisting of high-end fragrances for men and women, including World of Polo (Polo, Polo Blue, Polo Black, Polo Red), Ralph Lauren Romance, Midnight Romance and the Big Pony Collections For Women and For Men.[29]
Ralph Lauren Restaurants
RL Restaurant opens in 1999, adjacent to the Ralph Lauren Chicago store on Michigan Avenue. In 2010, Ralph's was opened in the courtyard and converted stables at 173 Boulevard Saint Germain Paris flagship store. In August 2014, Ralph's Coffee opened on the second floor of the Polo Flagship store in New York City. The Polo Bar, adjacent to the New York City Polo Flagship store, opened in January 2015 with a menu dedicated to serving seasonal American classics in a setting that pays homage to the sophisticated equestrian heritage of the Ralph Lauren world.[30]


The Ralph Lauren flagship store occupying the Rhinelander Mansion on Madison Avenue in New York City
Ralph Lauren store on Madison Avenue in New York City

The Company ended Fiscal 2016 with 493 directly operated stores: 144 Ralph Lauren stores, 77 Club Monaco stores and 272 Polo factory stores. The Company also operated 583 concession shop locations worldwide at the end of the year.[31]

children's clothing at department store Smith & Caughey's Queen Street in Auckland, New Zealand

In addition to Company-operated locations, international licensing partners operated 93 Ralph Lauren stores and 42 dedicated shops, as well as 133 Club Monaco stores and shops at the end of Fiscal 2016.

Ralph Lauren operates its representative flagship stores in New York City on Madison Avenue – for menswear in the former Rhinelander Mansion, and for womenswear and home in another structure, across the street, which opened in 2010. The company also manages flagships, for retailing Ralph Lauren collections, in Chicago, Manhasset, Greenwich (USA), London, Milan, Tokyo, Moscow, and Paris.[32]

Sports sponsorships


In 2005, The United States Tennis Association selects Ralph Lauren Corporation as the official apparel sponsor for the U.S. Open. As part of the partnership, all on-court ball persons and officials will be dressed in specially-designed Ralph Lauren apparel. This is Polo's first tennis sponsorship.[33]


In 2006, Ralph Lauren Corporation became the official outfitter of Wimbledon. Lauren is the first designer in the tennis tournament’s history to be chosen to create uniforms for all on-court officials.[34][35]


In 2011, Ralph Lauren Corporation became the official apparel outfitter for the USGA and the U.S. Open Championships (U.S. Open (golf)) and serve as the championship's largest on-site apparel supplier. Additionally, the Company is an Official Patron of The Open Championship, outfitting all officials and staff members and serving as the championship's largest on-site apparel retailer.

On September 3, 2014, Ralph Lauren Corporation announces that it has been named an Official Partner and Outfitter of the PGA of America through 2020. The licensing agreement also designated that Ralph Lauren is the Official Partner and Official Outfitter of the PGA Championship; the Official Outfitter of Ryder Cup's conducted in the United States during that period; and the Official Outfitter of every U.S. Ryder Cup Team through 2020.

The corporation also sponsors US professional golfers Webb Simpson, Tom Watson, Jonathan Byrd, Davis Love III and Luke Donald; as well as LPGA golfer Morgan Pressel.[36]

U.S. Olympic Team

Ralph Lauren Corporation is the exclusive Official Parade Outfitter for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, with the right to manufacture, distribute, advertise, promote, and sell products in the U.S. which replicate the Parade Outfits and associated leisure wear. The Company has established a partnership with athletes serving as brand ambassadors and as the faces of the advertising, marketing, and public relations campaigns.[37][38]

Ralph Lauren Corporation partners with the United States Olympic Committee to become an Official Outfitter of the U.S. Olympic Team, for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, 2012 Summer Olympics in London, 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.[39]

Ralph Lauren designs the official Opening Ceremony and Closing Ceremony parade outfits for the U.S. teams in addition to an assortment of village-wear apparel and accessories.


Co-Founded the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington D.C. in memory of the late Post fashion correspondent.[40]
Ralph Lauren acts as chairman and creates the name and symbol for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, a charitable initiative of the CFDA that marshals the goodwill and services of the fashion industry to raise public awareness and funds for breast cancer internationally.[41]
Ralph Lauren Corporation launches its Volunteer Program, which energises employees and creates meaningful connections with the communities in which they work.[42]
On Friday, September 15th Ralph Lauren Corporation launches the Pink Pony Campaign, a national initiative to reduce disparities in cancer care by raising awareness as well as enhancing prevention, screening, and treatment in poor and underserved communities.[43]
The Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation establishes the American Heroes Fund following September 11th to allow Polo's 10,000 employees worldwide, as well as their customers, the opportunity to participate in the relief effort.[44]
Ralph Lauren supports to establish the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention in Harlem. The Center is a collaboration between Ralph Lauren, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and North General Hospital in Harlem, New York City.[45]
The Polo Fashion School is established, in which Company executives work with inner-city youth to offer insights into the fashion business.[46]
Established in 2006, the Polo Jeans G.I.V.E. (Get Involved Volunteer Exceed) campaign was created to inspire and encourage community service through volunteerism by supporting the efforts of dedicated volunteers and their causes.[47]
The Star-Spangled Banner, the original 1813 flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the National Anthem, was preserved by a $10 million contribution to Save America's Treasures from Polo Ralph Lauren in 1998. The flag was then unveiled on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 in a new gallery at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, in Washington D.C.[48]
Ralph Lauren Corporation announced in July of 2013 its commitment to restore the elite École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, one of the most influential art schools in France.[49]
Ralph Lauren Corporation partners with the The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, the largest and most comprehensive cancer center in Europe, to develop a world-class breast cancer research facility.[50]
Ralph Lauren Corporation opens the Royal Marsden Ralph Lauren Center for Breast Cancer Research.


Levi Strauss lawsuit
Levi Strauss & Co. filed a lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch and the RL Corporation in July 2007 for trademark infringement. It alleged that the separate retailers used Levi's trademarked pocket design of connected arches in the design of some of their respective products.[51]
South African Polo trademark issues
The Polo brand sold in South Africa is not affiliated with the Ralph Lauren brand. An independent South African company trademarked the Polo name and logo in South Africa.[52][53]
Filippa Hamilton photo controversy
In 2009, Ralph Lauren apologized for digitally retouching a photograph of model Filippa Hamilton to make her look thinner.[54] Hamilton also claims that she was fired by Ralph Lauren a few days later.[55] Another model's photo was also digitally retouched[56] adding to the row of models.


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