Author(s): Kathleen Baird-Murray
Ralph Lauren's designs vividly embody the American Dream and he has risen to become his country's foremost fashion designer. His visionary ability has created a multi-billion-dollar brand, still very successful almost 50 years on. His genius lies in his innate skill for interpreting key cultural elements of Americana - whether Folk Art, or the world of polo-playing Hamptons' socialites, or Navajo motifs - and encapsulating them in appealing garments. Also a natural fit with Hollywood, he designed costumes for film classics such as The Great Gatsby and Annie Hall. Celebrated in Vogue by leading photographers such as Annie Leibovitz, Bruce Weberand Mario Testino, Lauren's clothes have appeared on countless covers, on everyone from Cher to a young Gwyneth Paltrow. From his ubiquitous Polo Ralph Lauren shirts with their much-imitated equestrian logo to his American country-club take on upperclass Englishness, his skill in making aspiration accessible is second to none. Vogue, the international fashion bible, has charted the careers of designers through the decades. Its unique archive of photographs, taken by the leading photographers of the day from Cecil Beaton to Mario Testino, and original illustrations, together with its stable of highly respected fashion writers, make Vogue the most authoritative and prestigious source of reference on fashion. With a circulation of over 160,000 and a readership of over 1,400,000, no brand is better positioned to present a library on the great fashion designers of the modern age.
Kathleen Baird-Murray is a writer for Vogue and a columnist for the Financial Times. She was formerly Acting Beauty Director for Vogue and Beauty Director for Tatler, has written for the Daily Telegraph Saturday Magazine and The Observer, and is author of How to Be Beautiful, The Thinking Woman's Guide.