Polo by Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren remains a controversial figure, with legions of admirers, as well as detractors who point out that the most profitable label in his empire, Polo, amounts to little more than lifting the US Polo Assn's 100-year-old logo and adding it to clothes copied from Brooks Brothers. I tend to disagree, arguing that Lauren did for the Brooks look what Henry Ford did for the automobile - he democratized it. But even this falls short of the truth, as it fails to account for Lauren's uncanny ability to tap into the American Dream -- a mix of equal parts British Empire, Ivy League, Wild West, and '30s Hollywood couture -- a cocktail that never quite existed in real life until Ralph invented it (just as he invented himself) and served it up to us in a glass with a Polo Pony swizzle stick.
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