|Polo Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL) is American fashion designer Ralph Lauren's luxury lifestyle company. Polo Ralph Lauren specializes in high-end casual/semi-formal wear for men and women, as well as accessories, fragrance, home (bedding, towels) and housewares.|
HistoryThe brand was launched in 1967 when Ralph Lauren, born Ralph
Lifschitz, got a $50,000 loan. Prior to starting Ralph Lauren, he
worked for Brooks Brothers. In 1968 he started a line of men's ties. By 1969 he had a boutique store within the Manhattan department store Bloomingdale's. In 1971, Polo Ralph Lauren launched its first women's collection and his first standalone store in Beverly Hills, California. Ten years later, in 1981, the brand went global with its first international store on London's New Bond Street. The Polo Sport line was introduced in 1993. The company went public in 1997.
The brand now produces clothing, accessories, fragrances, furniture, operates the restaurant RL in Chicago, and sponsors a Harlem cancer center in association with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
As of 2009, Ralph Lauren or their licensing partners operated 163
full-price and 163 outlet/factory stores around the world (including Club Monaco and Rugby stores). The company's flagship store is located in the former Rhinelander Mansion on Madison Avenue in New York City. Other flagship stores are located in Chicago (largest RL store in the U.S.), East Hampton, London (largest RL store in the world), Miami, Milan, Palm Beach, and Tokyo.
The company's offical web site and online shop were launched in 2000 as polo.com by RL Media, a cooperation between Ralph Lauren and NBC. In 2007, Ralph Lauren acquired the NBC share of RL Media and the web site was relaunched as ralphlauren.com.
Ralph Lauren is one of the largest retailers in the United States with revenues reaching $4.2 billion in 2007.