I couldn’t end the year, 2013, without paying homage to America’s preeminent Lifestyle revivalist extraordinaire, Ralph Lauren, on the 30th anniversary since debuting his Home Collection in 1983. “When [my wife] Ricky and I were first married,” said Mr. Lauren, “we were on the hunt for things to furnish our apartment with. Often, we were disappointed by what we found—not only the quality, but also the variety. I was looking to create a total world.” And ever since, Lauren has introduced richly layered environments with a nostalgic nod to America’s blue-blooded past year after year with Lifestyle ensembles offering myriad stylistic options. “When Ralph Lauren Home launched at Bloomingdale’s, the displays were like little movie-set designs,” commented Donald Albrecht, curator of architecture and design at the Museum of the City of New York, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “They weren’t just bed sheets, but settings with props that [promised] a certain lifestyle. It was the evocation of a kind of narrative. That’s still the appeal”, said Mr. Albrecht: “When you’re buying Ralph Lauren furniture, you’re buying a piece of that myth he’s selling.”
“The introduction of the Home collection in 1983 opened the doors to the World of Ralph Lauren in an entirely new way, inviting customers to inhabit the physical spaces that, until that time, had existed only in dreams.” (Ralph Lauren Home). Featured above, The Thoroughbred Collection. Other Collections included Log Cabin, New England and Jamaica.
“There is a way of living that has a certain grace and beauty. It is not a constant race for what is next, rather, an appreciation of what has come before. There is a depth and quality of experience that is lived and felt, a recognition of what is truly meaningful. These are the feelings I would like my work to inspire. This is the quality of life that I believe in.” — Ralph Lauren
“I have a vision for living. It’s all about elements of style. It’s about all the things that I love, that I believe in.” (Ralph Lauren)
“In honor of 30 YEARS, Ralph Lauren has envisioned a realm of luxury and regal glamour. ‘A world beyond fashion’ is how Ralph Lauren describes his philosophy of home design — his world transporting us to many of his favorite places, from stately country manors to panoramic city penthouses to now, a home fit for modern royalty.” — From Issue IV of the Ralph Lauren Fall edition, 2013.
Congratulations, Mr. Lauren, on the thirtieth-year anniversary since introducing your first Home Collection. You amaze us with eternal style and substance.
Compiling the images for this post was exhausting, to say the least, as many vintage ad campaigns are not to be discovered on the Internet, and those that are are not dated. I resourced a great deal of the earliest ads by scanning them from my own collection of magazines, which date back further than the 1983 release of the first Ralph Lauren Home Collection. Eager to publish this post before the strike of midnight there are several years and collections not accounted for that I will return here to include – so keep checking back if you are a RL groupie. That special collection you are yearning to set your eyes upon once again just may find its way to this page!
Reading List: Learning from 30 Years of Ralph Lauren Home by Dan Rubinstein for The Wall Street Journal, October 2013.