Ralph Lauren is dismounting the Polo Pony and handing over the reigns to new CEO Stefan Larsson. One of the United States’ largest fashion empires has grown over the past half century from a few ties being sold out of a drawer in the Empire State Building to a brand with a logo that can be recognized across the world. Take a look back at Paula Marantz Cohen’s piece on the meaning and breeding of iconic fashion logos like Lauren’s Polo Pony.
Ralph Lauren, the seeming epitome of the English country gentleman, was originally Ralph Lifshitz from the Bronx, who started his empire with a necktie store in 1970. Lauren went on to devise the Polo Pony logo (more to the point than the Izod crocodile) and to exploit the idea of graded merchandise more brazenly than anyone had before. He separated his goods into strata: purple at the top (appointment only), with black and blue labels, then Polo and Rugby, and finally, Ralph Lauren Sport bringing up the rear. •