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Ralph Lauren x Timeless American Fashion

Long before Marlon Brando wowed audiences dressed as the quintessential American bad boy in the movie “The Wild One”, there was a different image that came to the minds of those in the audience when they pictured what a tough guy looked like. This was the image of the legendary cowboys of the Wild West – characters like Billy The Kid and Wyatt Earp.

Luckily for us, the nostalgic image of the cowboys of the West wasn’t going to be displaced by the new look Brando exploded onto the scene with anytime soon. Fans of the American cowboy’s style, like Ralph Lauren, helped it to maintain its place in the world of fashion.

Ralph Lauren, an American designer born in 1939 in the Bronx (New York), designed the leather jacket & vest in this picture. The jeans and shirt are both made of denim. These were all part of a collection that dates to 1979.
Ralph Lauren, an American designer born in 1939 in the Bronx (New York), designed the leather jacket & vest in this picture. The jeans and shirt are both made of denim. These were all part of a collection that dates to 1979.

As the driving creative force behind one of the most iconic American fashion brands in the world, Ralph Lauren expressed the American aesthetic in clothing like no one else before him.  Even though he stepped down from his position as CEO with the company in the fall of last year, his creations live on and continue to influence. Like many of us in this country, he started from nothing and made himself into something! This self-made, independent, and entrepreneurial spirit is clearly evident in his creations – like the image below.

Polos probably come to mind when most people think about Polo Ralph Lauren, but what it really stood for is better expressed here.  I took these photos of the ensemble at the LACMA (“Reigning Men” exhibit), and for good reason: I knew at a later date, I would leverage what I saw to inspire me in various ways. Here is what I came with!

Wild Wild West and Ralph Lauren inspired. Belt is from Harley Davidson, and the buckles are removable. I replaced the standard one with a version designed by Creatum 1984.
Wild Wild West and Ralph Lauren inspired. Belt is from Harley Davidson, and the buckles are removable. I replaced the standard one with a version designed by Creatum 1984.

Trends come and go, but as this Polo ensemble from the 70’s shows, some things never change!

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Often boots are frowned upon, unless you’re a rockstar or country singer, but they have a place within everyday life, and here’s an example of a stylish, masculine way to wear them-without looking campish.

 

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