I was in London this summer and walked by this Ralph Lauren shop and saw these great baskets with the boxwood and ivy and it reminded me why I love Ralph.
I got my first job at Ralph Lauren in Beverly Hills when I was 18 years old. I had zero retail experience but I wanted to just be in that store. So, I started out as a gift wrapper during the Christmas season. I loved every minute of it. I loved all the "senses" of Ralph Lauren. The sense of luxury, refinement, style, drama, detail....all of it. After gift wrapping, which I apparently excelled at, I moved on to cashier. I hated the math and counting aspect of it because I can hardly subtract but I loved seeing what people were buying and being in the center of the action. Then I was asked to be a salesgirl in the accessories department. OMG! I was in heaven. I was the first person to arrive in the morning with my head to toe Ralph Lauren outfit, coffee in hand and I would go up those glorious faded oriental rug steps with the overscaled paintings of ( I wished) my ancestors and up to the home collection. I would sit on an overstuffed armchair, soak it all in and pretend I lived there. My ENTIRE paycheck went back to Ralph Lauren so it was a win win for Ralph. Then, here is the best part.... (21 years later I am still regretting it) I was being considered for a position as assistant buyer for the women's collection in the NY store. Total dream job. But do you know what I did? I quit Ralph and went to St Tropez with the world's most notorious Swedish playboy. What is wrong with me? But, I have to say, I did get a lot out of my St Tropez trip. I went to the chicest wedding I have ever seen to this day and my eyes were exposed to the big world of Europe. So, in the end, all worked out.
Do you remember when Ralph Lauren would completely remodel the home collection every few months into a whole new world from London to Marseilles to New York. It was so exciting. Every collection was so detailed, the mood so perfectly expressed, the ambiance so crafted. Every room was like a still life painting. I have too many favorites to count. I wish someone would put together an entire retrospective in the Smithsonian of all of the Ralph Lauren Home Collection looks over the years. In fact, maybe I will write a book on it. I would love to interview all the people who made those "looks" come alive from the conception to realization. Here are a few of my favorite ad campaigns from the Ralph Lauren archives.
New Bohemian Collection
Rich colors...orange and red
Rich textures...velvet and fringe
More is more
Layering layering layering
If you notice there are 4 layers on the floor...hardwood, seagrass, turkish rug, then fluffy heaven.
Rue Madame Collection
Rue Royal Collection
St Germain Collection
It is interesting to research through the archives of Ralph Lauren Home. Other favorites of mine include Sheltering Sky, North Atlantic Coast, Tourville, Bedford Manor, Old Mill, Le Marais etc
all images courtesy Ralph Lauren Home
To see Ralph Lauren Home archives go to: