A Members Salute to Ralph Lauren

To call Ralph Lauren an inspiration is an understatement. To American fashion, he is that, and he is so much more.

Lauren’s career started 50 years ago with a tie. He built an empire that serves as the fashion aspiration for designers at all levels, whether you’re a student dreaming of a career in the industry, an emerging talent, or an established brand. Ask them, and they will tell you how they admire the way Lauren created a brand with a razor-sharp vision around a complete lifestyle that is cinematic, chic, and American. His ventures into hospitality with restaurants – New York, Paris, Chicago –underscore the vision beautifully.

Lauren also leads by example and inspires with his philanthropy, including such programs as Pink Pony and the American Heroes Fund. He launched Fashion Targets Breast Cancer and was instrumental to Seventh On Sale. The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention in Harlem aims to provide the highest quality cancer care and prevention services to New York City’s underserved communities.

He is also a mentor. Many CFDA talents have worked for Lauren before successfully starting out on their own, among them Tory Burch, Vera Wang, Reed Krakoff, John Varvatos, and Jeffrey Banks. And to secure that next generation, there’s the Polo Fashion School, which gives motivated and gifted inner-city teenagers students exposure to fashion via an after-school course.

“I respect and admire everything that Ralph Lauren stands for,” says CFDA Chairwoman Diane von Furstenberg, “including his philanthropy and kindness.”

The CFDA members are proud to salute Ralph Lauren at the 2018 CFDA Fashion Awards.