As Ralph Lauren has been called the first "image-maker" of American fashion, it's perhaps telling that one of his most successful re-inventions is himself. Born Ralph Lifschitz, son of Russian working class immigrants, he has transformed himself into the sophisticated billionaire Mr. Lauren — a silver haired gentleman with a dress sense somewhere between the Marlboro Man and the Great Gatsby. His classic and preppy designs all draw upon an image of old world wealth and luxury, and he pioneered the concept of clothes as part of a lifestyle environment. Today, his five billion dollar business includes several clothing lines as well as perfumes, houseware, furniture and paint.
"My goal in design is to achieve the ultimate dream - the best reality imaginable."