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Ralph Lauren Hardcover – October 18, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Ralph Lauren isn’t easy to define. Unlike many designers, he is not known for a single signature look, but rather for his sweeping dreams of American living. Over the course of his career, the images of luxury, adventure, and beauty that he created have come to define American style. In this visually stunning book, Lauren speaks candidly for the first time ever about himself and his art. In part one, we get to know the designer through never-before-seen pictures of him in private life and with his family, living the lives he designs for. In his own words, we hear about his life, work, and inspiration. In the second part, Lauren displays and writes about his most important, most iconic, and most beloved work, hand-picked from hundreds of runway shows, collections, and his signature cinematic advertising campaigns. Lauren’s aesthetic influence and unique design sensibility are captured here by fashion’s finest photographers, including Bruce Weber, Deborah Turbeville, and Patrick Demarchelier. Featuring an introduction by Audrey Hepburn (from her 1992 presentation speech at the CFDA awards), this is truly a unique fashion monograph, a personal expression of the artist, and a rare peek into the mind of one of America’s most accomplished fashion designers of all times.

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From Publishers Weekly

Larger than life, luxuriantly priced, and filled with simple, elegant work, this volume mirrors the universal style and global reputation of its subject, American fashion icon Ralph Lauren. At first heft, this 14-and-a-half pound retrospective might seem excessive and ostentatious; once one starts turning the pages, however, it's hard to imagine the work any smaller. Following a warm introduction by Audrey Hepburn (presenting Lauren with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992), Lauren takes readers on a pictorial history of his life, family and work. Every photograph is rich with texture and depth, rendered in a style immediately familiar to anyone who's flipped through a fashion mag over the past several decades, but far more striking and sumptuous in this large format (each easily worth two or three times the standard thousand words). The variety of gifted photographers included (Bruce Weber, Claus Wickrath and Sheila Metzner among them) capture well Lauren's talent for anyman elegance, even on the imposing frames of such models as Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Tyson Beckford. Those with a fever for fashion (and a strong back) will find this largely text-free tome a real page-turner.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (October 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847837432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847837434
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.9 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I had the opportunity to view this book in the store and it is gorgeous. Gigantic glossy photographs, many of Ralph Lauren and his family. I was waiting for this book to come out because I am a huge Ralph Lauren fan. That said, in my mind, I sort of thought this book would dissect his fashions over the past four decades. While his styles have the reputation of being timeless, the designer certainly has evolved and a book that started with his ties to his initial designs, perhaps examples of the tweed jacket he bought for his wife, etc. then moving to the polos, Blue and Black Label, Home and lifestyle, that would have made a fantastic book. This is not quite a book on the evolution of Ralph Lauren designs over the past four decades. This is more a collection of very beautiful photographs and some editorial. It is beautiful, no question. But had I purchased it sight unseen, I would have been expecting a different book, a forty year retrospective, with initial designs, runway, retail versions, fabrics, British lifestyle influences, etc.
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Format: Hardcover
First....This is an AWESOME book. No doubt about it. It is HUGE. It weights 14 1/2 pounds!!! It is really beautiful. The photos are just what you'd expect from Mr. Ralph. Sweeping, grand and elegant. There are over 700 photos..Large and small. Not a lot of text but enough to keep you well wrapped up.

BUT....Well...Really 2 buts....I am a HUGE fan of Lauren's western vintage inspired line of clothing called "RRL" or "Double RL". Have been since 1993. Was a little let down that there are only about 8 pics related to this line which Ralph admits many many times is his true passion and love in his vast empire of styles and brands.
On the upside...There are LOTS of photos from the first western collection in 1979 that was really the groundbreaking for all his RRL and Western/Roughwear/Santa Fe collections since. Many not seen in some 25 years. AA++ on that.

SECOND BUT....There are little to NO STORE photos. Inside or out of the shops. In my humble opinion...This is about 75% of Lauren's pure gift. HIS STORES!! There are unlike any other stores in the world!! Th sheer scope that each store has..It's own style depending on it's location, the accents, the style direction, etc. You can spend hours just wondering through his stores in awe. MAJOR minus in this book. DDD---

Upside again....There are many many photos NEVER published before. Most from early ad spreads. Lauren's early ads were often 15 to 20 magazine pages long...Like mini movies. Remember them all quite well from my early adulthood. Very nice to see new/old images. AAA+++

OVERALL...Excellent book. We all know Lauren could have (without any effort due to the wealth of material to draw from) split this book up into 3 or 4 or even 5 volumes.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ralph Lauren reinvented fashion based on his vision of the past. To sum up his world in a word, it is Romance. These photos represent not only a fashion still but a pastiche of what we would like our pasts to be.
Working class or privileged, it shows a world where everyone can be proud. I rejected the naysayers who chafe at this working class guy from Long Island reminding us of Wasp and Cowboy Chic. This is Americana in all it permutations and if he becomes a billionaire in the process, isn't that American as well.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Expected a better quality and better concept and photography. The book is big and filled but just misses the mark by a long shot in a GREAT photography book of a creative journey in this man. I had no choice to keep it and give it as a gift but wish I was able to return it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Accidentally got this enormous tome - Ralph is very handsome of course, with sparkling white teeth, and he always looks un-selfconscious in any sort of outfit. Nobody could wear clothes better. But only a small section shows the women's clothing collections and even less of the fabulous home decor - lots and lots of Ralph portraits - all good, but most of the book is about him. And his comments could be condensed on 2 pages. Seems pretty egotistical to make a book you can't lift full of professional selfies. We've seen most of the product pages in ads through the years - beautiful of course but nothing new. Still, he is a stunningly great designer and everything he produces is as perfect as he claims. There just isn't enough in this huge volume to look at again and again.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Simply put this book is for the die hard Ralph Lauren fan. Emphasis on the word "die hard".

What this book is not: A catalog of everything Ralph has designed....nor is it a catalog of select pieces....nor is it a catalog on the best pieces....nor is it a large catalog of the ads. This book is not a catalog of anything other than pictures and stories of Ralph Lauren, the man.

What this book really is: A celebration of Ralph Lauren, the man, his family and the company he created. It's a coffee table book. And sure, there are pictures of past ads and past collections but that plays a secondary role in the book.

If you are a Die Hard RL fan and have money to spare, there are autographed copies of this book (that cost substantially more).
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