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Genuine Authentic: The Real Life of Ralph Lauren Paperback – January 20, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
First, I'll give credit to Ralph (Lifschitz) Lauren for being so clever as to repackage the classics and build an empire based on the Great WASP way of life--the one that so many people aspire to. It was brilliant, and if I had been the one to pull it off, I would smile all the way to the bank.
Secondly, I give well-deserved credit to Michael Gross for sweeping away the pixie dust and writing about what is actually behind this purveyor of "lifestyle goods." I wouldn't say that there are a great number of surprises; rather, the story he tells confirms (in detail) what most of us already know--that the fashion industry is so much smoke and mirrors, and why would Ralph be any different? He hasn't been innovative and shocking in the way that you see styles emerge from other designers, but he chose to reinvent himself and at the same time, package it all quite nicely and ready-to-consume by the insecure masses.
Michael Gross reveals that the real money in the Lauren company is made on khakis and polo shirts and that Ralph may be out of touch with who his customer really is. That polo shirt with the pony logo shows up on the backs of so many beefy, paunchy, male members of the corportate bourgeousie (middle class strivers) as opposed to those of the old Blue Book families for whom L.L. Bean is just fine, thank you.Read more ›
Ralph's father Frank, was my customer and said he wanted to do something for me because he liked me. I told him I was
the one who appreciated him and Freida.He asked if I would accept a painting he was going to do for me. He brought me
in the most beautiful framed landscape painting. I was so shocked and humbled by the experience. It enhanced the decor of my home.
It was constant reminder of him. They moved back to New York and we use to keep in touch. Then I didn't hear from them anymore.
I was searching the internet to find anything I could to about them. I found this book "Genuine Authentic" by Michael Gross.
After reading some of the pages on Amazon I was hooked. I love this book because I am finding out what a truly amazing family
Ralph had. It's about how they struggled to survive in a difficult time. But how they valued their family. It takes place in the Bronx.
Michael Gross did a wonderful job of writing this book. It was a real challenge since he had his hands tied trying to interview Ralph's
family who tried to protect Ralph. Yet I could see how Ralph was born with a sense of style. He was driven. It was his passion.
It's no wonder how he became so successful.
The book is well worth reading for the education it gives the reader about the clothing business and "designer" labels as well as the telling insights into RL himself. In short, RL has cashed in on the preppy WASP persona but, to this day, doesn't really "get it" himself. Upon being questioned about art in his "WASP" designed house, he cannot identify artists on his wall and brags that he just goes by "feel." Clearly, he doesn't understand that the way of life he imitates includes education and culture, neither of which he has to this very day.
The book is also a wonderful education for the clothes buyer. You know those outlet bargains? I guess they are not, since a whole line goes straight from the factory to the outlet. Did you think that you were the only one who did not buy the $100 blouse at the department store? Looks like no one else buys much either. The money gets made from those pique shirts. Buyer beware.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting bio - lot's of facts I was not aware of. Sounds like Mr. Lauren (Lifshitz) was talented but a volatile person as well as a "cheater" too bad, I do love his... Read morePublished 9 months ago by SeattleMist
Love this guy. Read other books by him and this one is no exception. Informative, dramatic...couldn't put it down. Who needs fiction!Published 10 months ago by Roni Harkins
Haven't got through it yet. But I know anything Ralph has to be good.Published 19 months ago by Bertie David
This book is an overview of Ralph Lauren's life and career. I thought the book started out great but then took a dull turn as you got into the growth of Polo. Read morePublished on December 19, 2012 by Brooklyn Joe