...an American icon.
Was reading news headlines this morning and came across a story about America's 10 highest-paid CEOs. Holding steady in this impressive list was Ralph Lauren.... with compensation from Polo Ralph Lauren in excess of $66 million/year.
And, did I mention that Forbes ranked him as the 173rd richest man in the world with an estimated wealth of $4.6 billion. Chaaaa ching!
Initially, my response was: "Yep, that proves it -- I knew that I paid too much for that suede belt, yesterday." But, then after thinking about it, wasn't mine the typical American response? We want people to do well and be successful... it IS the American dream, afterall. But, then we want to bash the devil out of them for making too much money.
"God Bless America".... couldn't resist!
So, I decided to do a little research. How did that "Curator of Cool" begin his career? Was it a polo shirt????
In 1967, his initial endeavor into the design world was a necktie... which he sold from the trunk of his car. Eventually, Bloomingdales purchased his entire line of ties! And, as for that famous short sleeved Polo shirt, it wasn't released until 1972.
Over the years, the Ralph Lauren label has become synomymous with luxury... selling his collections in amazing spaces around the world.
Ralph Lauren Store on Madison Avenue
Ralph Lauren Store in Russia
Restaurant in Ralph Lauren's store on the Left Bank in Paris.
Why the success? Well, honestly, the guy has one helluva a design aesthetic. Just take a peak at the following:
The home in Bedford, NY, that he shares with is wife and family.
Photo from Architectural Digest.com
Inside the Madison Avenue RL Store
His home in Jamaica
The Double RL Ranch in Colorado
A Man with the Midas touch... and it all started with some neckties. Who knew????? And this quote sums it up....
For her final season, Oprah even interviewed Mr. Lauren at his ranch.
His IS a great American success story... but I still think that I paid too much for that suede belt! Ha