item 4 - Ralph Lauren interview, 1990 September 5

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Ralph Lauren interview, 1990 September 5


  • 1990 September 5 (Creation)

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Ralph Lauren is the founder of the Ralph Lauren Corporation. Prior to its foundation, Lauren worked briefly at Brooks Brothers as a sales assistant before moving on to work at tie manufacturer Beau Brummell. In 1967, Lauren started his own line under Beau Brummell, which he named "Polo" based on his interest in sports. His first year of business was a massive success, selling his designs in the mens clothing department of large department stores including Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus. He won the Coty Award for his men's designs in 1970, and in 1972, he designed what is now the Ralph Lauren brand's signature look with his short-sleeved collared polo shirts. He also went on to outfit the cast for major films including the 1974 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, and became well known for Diane Keaton's wardrobe in 1977's Annie Hall.

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"Mildred Finger Haines ... helped shape fashion tastes for four decades as a top buyer for department stores and a consultant to clothes makers and retailers.... From the late 1940's through the late 1960's, Mrs. Haines, known throughout her career as Mildred Finger, was a buyer of ready-to-wear at Macy's, Ohrbach's and Bergdorf Goodman, and was one of New York City's most often cited taste makers. At Bergdorf's, in particular, she was noted for bringing European styles to American consumers. She later became Vice President of Charles of the Ritz, headed fashion merchandising for Yves St. Laurent and became an independent consultant, with clients like the Limited and Arthur D. Little. Suffering from multiple sclerosis, she retired in 1986. In succeeding years, she frequently contributed her knowledge of the fashion industry to the oral history projects of the American Jewish Committee and the Fashion Institute of Technology...." New York Times Obituary, 1995

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This interview with Ralph Lauren explores his life growing up in the Bronx and how he started his career in the fashion industry. He provides insight to his design process and the company products, which vary from clothing to furnishings and linens.

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Very quiet recording. Difficult to hear.


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  • Legacy audio ID no: AOH81
  • Legacy video ID no: N/A
  • Legacy transcription ID no: T124

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