Ralph Lauren originally joined the fashion world designing napkin-wide Beau Brummel ties in 1967. However, during those times narrow dark ties were the norm. But he successfully managed to shatter that tradition with colourful ties trendy ties. Style, as opposed to fashion, is the major concept behind Ralph Lauren's work. The following year he launched a menswear line, Polo, he offered styles that were very much more refined, a mix of English classic and American traditional. Ralph was highly inspired by such notable dressers as the Duke of Windsor, Cary Grant, and Fred Astaire, he began to produce classic lines derivative of the elegant man about town or the country squire of a previous age.
In 1971 Lauren opened his first retail store on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, California, building toward a total of 116 Polo-Ralph Lauren freestanding stores in the United States, plus one in London, Paris, and Shanghai, as well as 1,300 boutiques in department stores. In 1986 he made fashion retailing history with an expansive megastore housed in the huge, elegant, former Rhinelander Mansion in New York. A tour de force of his concept of dreams and designs, the store is a stunning showcase for Lauren's lifestyle marketing philosophy. John Fairchild, chairman of Women's Wear Daily, called it "The best boutique in America, probably the world." Consumers worldwide responded to the magic - spending over $5 billion a year by 1997 to have the Lauren Look - making him the best-selling designer in the world.