In fashion, there is perhaps no greater depiction of the American Dream than the one narrated by Ralph Lauren. He managed to build an empire out of nothing, creating envy out of other top labels, while striking up the ambitions of designers to identify with the brand in the process. Known for his work ethic, Lauren was heavily involved in the everyday proceedings of his eponymous line, often overseeing creative and financial aspects with unrelenting meticulousness. When he announced his resignation as the company's CEO, he wrote a letter to his employees reassuring them that his departure wouldn't impact his "passion for creating classic products that people all over the world want as part of their lives."
Several of the label's top-level designers received the letter, many of whom have been profiled in an article written by Valet. They reflect on Lauren's legacy with short quips describing how he left a lasting impression on their careers. Several quotes have been included below:
Michael Bastian on why he wanted to work with Ralph Lauren: "It's definitely like a kid wanting to play for their favorite sports team."
Frank Muytjens on his favorite part of the job: "Just the fact that you're literally surrounded with good taste. It really gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in American history, icons and culture. To have the opportunity to work on the collection and see it come together is like being a part of a really good movie set.
Sid Mashburn on his least favorite part of the job: "It was a daily competition for outfits. This was well before the Sartorialist or being photographed on the street, and all the creatives dressing very creatively were really just doing so because they liked it. But on a more serious note, Ralph and Jerry and the team demanded real excellence and the very best from us. It required a lot of hours and total commitment—not a job for the faint of heart."
Peter Georgiou on a lasting memory or lesson: "He definitely taught me that disrupting the process often resulted in a better collection."
To read the full article be sure to head on over to Valet.