The iconic designer, who was honored by the Smithsonian Institution with the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal, has helped define American sportswear since he began his career designing neckties in 1967.
Ralph Lauren, born Ralph Lifshitz, began making a line of wide neckties in 1967, selling them out of one drawer at the Beau Brummell showroom. The style was a reference to the 1940s, and an indicator of his early preference for heritage styles. He named the line Polo. Courtesy of Fashion Institute of Technology/SUNY, FIT Library Dept. of Special Collections and FIT Archives Buy Photo