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PROVIDING STRUCTURE TO THE WORLD

Ralph Lauren: A Keeper of the Ruler Style Ralph Lauren and his brother Jerry grew up in the Bronx. When other kids their age were into popular movies, Ralph and Jerry were watching the films of Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, and Fred Astaire. When the others were listening to Elvis, Ralph and Jerry couldn’t get enough of Ella Fitzgerald. And when the others were wearing tight black chinos, Ralph and Jerry were captivated by crewneck sweaters, khakis, and the just-right, button-down shirt. They dreamed of Princeton and Yale, and what it would be like to toss a football on the beach in Hyannisport, looking fabulous and looking like you didn’t give a damn how you looked. Ralph started as a tie salesman at Brooks Brothers and then moved on to create his own ties and, eventually, a brand icon of a company. But what might not be so obvious is that Ralph Lauren, in his studious examination of how the “better people” live, made at least a part of that life accessible to virtually everyone. Like Ralph and Jerry observing every detail of what made Cary Grant so effortlessly graceful, consumers today from virtually every walk of life could “learn” a certain kind of dress and, more importantly, behavior from every Ralph Lauren sub-brand. From the highest-end clothing, with the purple or black Ralph Lauren label, to Lauren, the brand for comfortable suburbanites, to Ralph, the brand for the young and the hip, to Polo Ralph Lauren, the classic sportswear line, and, ultimately, to the more affordable Polo Sport Company, Ralph Lauren presents a coherent view of “life as it should be”—civilized, orderly, and always gracious. People and places live up to their highest mythic potential. Cape Cod lives up to our imaginings of clambakes on the beach at sunset, everyone tanned and healthy, with their collars pulled up, and children running bare-legged into the surf. It is the good life as we always dreamed it—and it is not just about money. It is about heritage and feeling that you have a safe place in the world; it is the certainty that the life you are living is the very best one that you could hope to realize in this one chance at existence that you have. At its best, Ralph Lauren is also about the responsibility of the Ruler. Ralph Lauren himself has contributed substantial funds to restoring the original American flag involved in Francis Scott Key’s

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

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