How Ralph Lauren and Brunello Cucinelli Shaped Three Decades of Fashion

Two designers who defined men’s fashion for three decades—one championing iconic American style and the other pioneering the 21st century’s casual dress code.

 

 

Ralph Lauren’s personal style—well-worn jeans and cowboy boots paired with a tuxedo jacket or a perfectly tailored blazer—exemplifies the way he has expertly combined Americana with British sartorial taste and inspired men worldwide to emulate his easygoing elegance. Perhaps the most successful and long-standing American designer, Lauren wields influence well beyond men’s and women’s fashion, from the realms of home decor and complicated watches to wildly successful restaurants.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Thomas Iannaccone/Penske Media/REX/Shutterstock (6986690a)
Model wearing an outfit from the Ralph Lauren summer 1994 ready to wear menswear collection, an olive-drab waxed poplin short jacket with brown corduroy collar, green ribbed-cotton T-shirt and green poplin military shirt on November 17, 1993 in New York. Article title: ‘Ralph Lauren: Safari So Good
Ralph Lauren Summer 1994 RTW, New York

Moreover, the supersoft, lightweight shirts, sweaters, unstructured blazers, and slim trousers are so comfortable that they can virtually be worn to the gym. But the brand is about much more than its desirable fashions. Just as important as founder Brunello Cucinelli’s ethos that people should dress comfortably and elegantly and feel good in their clothes is his belief that his employees—many of whom work in the Umbrian village of Solomeo, which he has revitalized and restored—should also be satisfied and fulfilled. “The great dream of my life,” says Cucinelli, “has always been to work for the moral and economic dignity of mankind.”

 

 


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