Fashion and motors - The World of Ralph Lauren
14 May 2023 2 min read 3 images
The famous designer Ralph Lauren, currently top one of the hundred most important collectors of classic cars in the world, draws inspiration for the elegance of his fashion collections from the beauty of the pieces in his car collection. He calls the pavilion in which he stores them and from which he uses them the garage. And he does, personally, and very often.
"I have many cars," he says, "I drive them all. Each time I choose a different car, and it's a different experience, because each car has its own personality. I love the driving, I love the sound, I love the authenticity. We're not talking about everyday driving here. We're talking about the joy of quality and the integrity of the machine and the design. We're talking about special cars."
Garage and workshop The garage, named DAD, which means father but is also an acronym of the names of Lauren's children (David, Andrew and Dylan), is an hour's drive north of New York City. There are no signs, and unlike a traditional museum, it is not open to visitors.
In 2011, however, Ralph Lauren decided to share part of his collection with the world: 17 cars, to be exact, which he exhibited at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in the Palais du Louvre in Paris. The exhibition was appropriately titled: "L'art de l'automobile: Chefs-d'oeuvre de la collection Ralph Lauren" (The Art of the Automobile: Masterpieces from the Ralph Lauren Collection).
Dream world in the Louvre Visitors to the exhibition who entered this dream world were greeted by the queen of the collection: the 1938 Bugatti 57 SC Atlantic. The car with chassis number 57591 was the last of originally four produced examples and was awarded best of the show at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 1990. The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, the most coveted Ferrari by major collectors, was certainly no less important. The other Ferrari models on display all had impressive pedigrees: the 250 GT Berlinetta SWB dominated the legendary Tour de France for three years (1960-1962), the 250 Testa Rossa won three times at Le Mans (1958, 1960 and 1961), the 375 Plus, of which only five were produced, won the 24-hour race in 1954, while the 250 LM took the Cavallino's last victory on the French circuit in 1965.
Unity of two passions Listening to Ralph Lauren, one quickly realises that the Garage project and his eponymous brand, which made him famous worldwide, form a unity in his eyes, even though they are two completely different companies. And that is hardly surprising when you consider that this man has always approached his two passions in the same way: In his work over many years, he has always created very sophisticated men's and women's fashions without being influenced by changing fashion trends. "I dress to match my car! The car tells me I'm sexy or it tells me I'm cool," he says. Like a sponge, Lauren has soaked up the mystique of the cars around him and combined it with the best taste and lifestyle trends. "The beauty of the car is the beauty it has in the imagination," he says, explaining that in his opinion, "combining clothes and cars makes the car have a higher status in the world."