Ralph Lauren to Oprah Winfrey: 'I felt I was special. I didn't know why.'
"My father was an artist. When life was harder and he couldn't get jobs, he painted houses, but he was artistic. When I went to see his work, it was special," Lauren says. "Somewhere along the line, I felt I was special. I didn't know why."
In the late 1960s, Lauren began to sell ties he designed, and he credits his success to following his heart, not his wallet. When Bloomingdales asked to alter his design and put their name on the label, he said no, and refused to sell his design. Later, they came crawling back, happy to sell his ties just as they were - with the Ralph Lauren label intact.
He's expanded way past ties now, and is considered a lifestyle brand, selling clothes, accessories, fragrance, furniture, linens, and more. How does he stay inspired, Oprah asks. "You pray," he says simply.
Lauren has been married for 46 years to his wife Ricky, who he met when he had an appointment with the eye doctor she worked for in 1964. "Ralph is my best friend, and I'm just so comfortable with him, and he is with me as well--we could be ourselves," she says. "We see the world as a team."
Currently, Lauren is working on a very personal project - designing a custom wedding gown for daughter Dylan. "It's very exciting," Dylan says. "Obviously my dad is making my dress for it, which is the most amazing thing because it's really stunning." Dylan told her fiance that the dress is so perfect for her that she may sleep in it or wear it again the next day.
"I had to do something that was better than ever before," Lauren says. "When you do something for your family or your daughter, I mean it's the only daughter I have--beautiful girl. I want to just give her something that she'd really treasure and give her something that would be really amazing. I want her to feel fantastic."