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Ralph Lauren: The Man, the Vision, the Style - Book Report/Review Example

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Topic: Ralph Lauren: The Man, the Vision, the Style Ralph Lauren is regarded as one of the most successful fashion designers in the world today, largely due to the popularity of his iconic “Polo” line of clothing. Colin McDowell recently published an authorized biography of Ralph Lauren entitled “The Man, the Vision, the Style” (2003), which is a sleek and glossy publication that reads like one of the fashion magazines that has made Lauren famous…
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Ralph Lauren: The Man, the Vision, the Style
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Ralph Lauren: The Man, the Vision, the Style

Download file to see previous pages... The book reflects the high standards of quality that the public expects from Lauren, and the story itself reads as a Horatio Alger story of a son of immigrants to America who builds a business empire worth billions of dollars. The mythology of the Ralph Lauren biography as presented here by McDowell is itself symbolic of the attainment of success that his clothes represent popularly in the culture. One of the most surprising aspects of the biography to the casual reader is introduced at the very start of the book, where the reader learns that Ralph Lauren was actually born with the name of Ralph Lifshitz, as the son of Jewish immigrants growing up in New York City. Lauren was born in 1939 in the United States, and his parents fled growing anti-Semitic sentiment in Eastern Europe to take refuge in the political freedoms of America, as did so many other immigrants at this time. This begins the rags to riches story of Lauren, who is not a product of the traditional fashion and design schools as one would expect, but rather a college drop-out who began selling ties in New York under the brand name “Polo”. ...
This is symbolized by the “Polo shirt” which caught on as a trend related to the Izod and quickly became one of America’s most recognized brands. Ralph Lauren describes his name change not as an attempt to obscure his Jewish roots or hide his family identity, but rather as a way to integrate into society without the constant teasing associated with the name Lifshitz. This is understandable, but is the symbolic beginning of the brand that would later become a worldwide status symbol. It is nearly impossible to imagine that a “Ralph Lifshitz” line of clothing would inspire the same sentiment in the American public, for example, as the Ralph Lauren brand carries today, but name changes are common and easily accepted in the celebrity world, with this decision carrying no negative connotations but rather beginning the larger than life aspects of Lauren’s own career. That Lauren is able to change names at age 16 shows that he has a unique sense of the importance of public presentation, symbol, and the power of branding, all aspects that will define both his label and image historically. Lauren marries at age 25 and despite the high-flying environment of Hollywood, New York, and the high-fashion lifestyle he will symbolize, he stays married to his wife Ricki, and builds his fashion empire closely related to family values. This is important because the Ralph Lauren brand, Polo, and his design style all symbolize success more than any other value socially. His look and image, as illustrated in his designs being worn in Hollywood, Wall St., Washington, and other power centers, defined success in America stylistically. Yet, the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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