{great love stories № 10 | ricky & ralph lauren}

{great love stories № 10 ricky & ralph lauren}
A hopelessly romantic love story spanning almost 50 years must certainly be the thing dreams are made of; with such humble beginnings, this romance has blossomed and most definitely passed the test of time — a testament to true love and the hope of happily ever after . . .

{great love stories № 10 ricky & ralph lauren}

Above, from the Rosecliff collection by Ralph Lauren Home

Their first encounter was at the eye doctor’s office in 1964 — Ralph, having recently returned from serving two years in the Unites States Army, had come in for an optical appointment. Sitting behind the receptionist desk was the sweet young Ricky Low-Beer. He was instantly smitten and asked if she would go on a date with him on the spot. Thankfully, she agreed, and the following six months were full of blissful happiness and budding young love . . . and a wedding! For both were quite certain of their true love and did not see any need to wait longer before making their love for each other ‘official’.

Above, Ralph and Ricky in Amagansett, summer 1976

Ralph is my best friend, and I’m just so comfortable with him, and he is with me as well—we could be ourselves, we see the world as a team.

–Ricky Lauren

Living in New York City and working at Brooks Brothers as a salesman, Ralph had become bored of the fashions of the day, particularly the thin ties that were in style. He had a vision of what was to come next in men’s fashion, and wasted no time designing and making luxurious, quality men’s ties of a new shape and material.

Above, from the Le Grand Hotel Collection by Ralph Lauren Home

In the beginning, Ralph found it extremely difficult to get his business venture underway — often turned down, or offered a spot on store shelves if he changed numerous elements of his design. All the while, Ricky stood by Ralph’s side, supporting, cheering, encouraging and, most importantly, loving him.

Above, from the Rosecliff collection by Ralph Lauren Home

Above, Ricky with Rugby, the family dog, in Montauk, 1990

Ralph’s perseverance and Ricky’s unfailing support paid out in the end — through the financial backing of clothing manufacturer, Norman Hilton, Ralph was able to open a small necktie store to sell his designs. Ralph had always been interested in sports, and sought a name which both embodied an active and elite lifestyle — with Ricky’s confirmation, Ralph sold his designs under the name ‘Polo’.

Above, pages from the 40th anniversary self-titled book, Ralph Lauren — a glimpse at the classic, preppy style that has come to define the brand

Ralph & Ricky’s company went from success to success — in 1970 he released a line of women’s wear in a classic, tailored men’s wear style, and in 1972, designed the now iconic mesh, short-sleeved, collared shirt with the Polo logo.

Above, the Laurens’ Bedford, New York home, built in 1919 and an hour north of Manhattan, where the couple lived for thirteen years and where the children were raised

Above, from the Le Grand Hotel Collection by Ralph Lauren Home

Though their success was great, the couple maintained an intensely private life, and chose to raise their three children — David, Andrew & daughter Dylan — as grounded and sensibly as possible. The couple rarely gave interviews or invited the media or photographers into their home, and although their children could have had any material possession they so desired, they sought to teach them more of the value of life, and the hard work which must be executed if one is to be successful.

Both Ralph & Ricky came from humble beginnings — both from families that had immigrated to the US from Europe during the war, and neither had been raised in a life of luxury. Everything they had created was purely from their own hard work, and they have successfully instilled these values into their three now immensely successful and self-made children.

Through their thriving company, Ralph & Ricky were able to acquire numerous properties and houses the world over — an apartment in New York, an island villa in Jamaica, a sprawling ranch in Colorado — just to name a few — which gave Ricky the perfect opportunity to display her wonderful talent for art & decorating.

Above, from the Rosecliff Collection by Ralph Lauren Home

Above, daugher Dylan on her wedding day, the gown was designed by her father

Above, son David & Lauren Bush on the day of their ‘western style‘ wedding; her gown was also designed by Ralph Lauren — a closer look at the gown here

Ralph had always been in the spotlight for his magnificent fashion & homeware designs, and the new houses they bought gave Ricky a new lease on life. Ricky’s love of watercolour painting, photography, decorating & cooking eventually transpired into a number of best-selling books, which give readers a wonderfully intimate glimpse into the life of the Lauren family. Littered with old family photographs, treasured recipes and tips learned over many years of being married to one of the world’s most stylish men.

Above, the Lauren home in Bedford, New York

Above, from the Rosecliff collection by Ralph Lauren Home

It is quite obvious that both Ralph & Ricky value hard work and perseverance in all of their business ventures; both from unassuming beginnings, they endured many set backs, and yet still persisted as they understood success comes from unconditional endurance. These business values have seamlessly transpired into their own personal lives and their unwavering love & adoration for one another.

Above, from the Rosecliff collection by Ralph Lauren Home

Constantly supporting the other in every endeavour and gamble — their great love story is not one of great proclamations of affection or grand gestures of passion — it is a gentle reminder that a great love is one who will hold your hand through good times and bad, success and failure, and always be waiting for you with support, and love.

I’m so proud to have Ralph as my husband. He is a great captain of the ship, and I love having him at the helm. We’re all very lucky to be with him, to share his dreams, to be a part of them, and to embrace each other and love each other so much.”

–Ricky Lauren


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