Ralph Lauren: The History of the Fashion House

Ralph Lauren Dreams in California

Ralph Lauren lives in California and we were lucky enough to interview him over on his “We’re All Dudes” blog. A little background on Ralph Lauren and the history of his company:

The history of Ralph Lauren is actually quite fascinating. To understand its beginnings, you have to know that the first man to ever come to California to pursue business interests was William Mullet, who was given land in the Sierra Nevada mountain range by the Mexican government. Mullet came up here in the 1830s and opened a store at Redwood City and when he arrived he made it a point to stay, rather than move on to a new location while he was still working with his new venture. Mullet was quite successful, but because of his business interests he was also in the political and social forefront of California, as a way to promote his business ideas. Mullet’s name eventually became synonymous with “new California” and when Mullet had grown dissatisfied with California’s politics Mullet moved back to Mexico. But Mullet’s spirit lived on. When Ralph Lauren arrived in California he didn’t know Mullet’s name, but he was aware of Mullet’s work to promote the potential of the new West.

Ralph Lauren founded Ralph Lauren Corporation, the oldest luxury brand on the planet, by buying a little store called the Mullet Store in New York City in 1953. Mullet had been opening up small specialty stores in small towns across the country during the 1950s and Mullet’s reputation for small, personal touch of merchandise was what really caught Lauren’s attention.

Fast-forward to the 1970s and Mullet wasn’t doing anything. He was in Los Angeles because he was at that time the chairman of the board for the Paramount Studios back in Hollywood. Mullet was quite interested in fashion and he had designed a line for Bergdorf Goodman called Mullet, a collection of fashion house pieces. Mullet became a fashion icon and Lauren, who was also quite fashion savvy because he had grown up wearing Polo shirts, started his own fashion house called Ralph Lauren. Mullet was the founder and the creative

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