Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
We are in the final episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show's farewell season and today's is a doozie. Winfrey scored a rare interview with Mister Americana himself, Ralph Lauren, at his RRL ranch in Telluride, CO. Lauren is known for being very private and hasn't done a televised interview in 20 years! The rest of the Lauren family: his wife, Ricky, and his children, Dylan, David, and Andrew also chat with Winfrey. Good thing for you, we're liveblogging it here beginning at 4 p.m. ET.
4:00PM: It's starting!! "From the outside looking in, it looks like the perfect picture," says Oprah.
4:02: This is the first time the ranch is opened to cameras. Oprah is riding in a vintage Jeep with Ralph on the RRL ranch and she's speechless.
4:03: The ranch has five hand-painted teepees with beds and leather couches.
"It's like a Ralph Lauren catalogue," says Oprah. "Wow." There's even a kid sized teepee!
4:05: Ralph wanted to be everything when he was a kid...from a baseball player to Batman.
4:08: Ralph and Ricky bought the ranch because they wanted another world aside from New York that could be private and would get him in touch with nature. "Here [at the RRL ranch] the dreams unfold," he says. Lauren started in 1967 with a simple tie and today has a $12 billion empire that includes fashion, furniture, paint and even restaurants.
4:10: Ralph worked out of a drawer, not even a desk, in the Empire State Building. Named his company Polo because even though he loved basketball he wanted an international sport.
4:14: Ralph was born in the Bronx and his father was an artist. He prized his hand-me-downs as a kid and bought clothes at the local army surplus store.
4:17: Camp was a defining moment in his life and where he felt special. He turned down Bloomingdale's because they wanted to narrow his ties and change the label to their own private label. Oprah replies, "Hell-to-the-no."
4:18: The polo shirt is the symbol of the brand, and Ralph wants to build a world around it.
4:19: Oprah's first big purchase when she made money was Ralph Lauren towels. Side note, Ralph confesses that he is a praying man.
4:21: Success isn't a miracle. Ralph says that you have to work hard. Even after a great runway show, he knows you have to do another one next season. "You have to create something from nothing again."
4:22: "I'm not about fashion. I'm about living," says Ralph.
4:26: Ricky and Ralph bought the ranch in 1982. Parts of the movie True Grit were filmed there. The ranch is AMAZING!!
"I'm not a cowboy and don't pretend to be one, but I love the West."
4:28: "Consistency of vision." Ralph thinks clothes get better with age. He does NOT have closets and closets of clothes. "I wear things that I love." So, yes he wears other designers. And despite all of his success he is most proud of his family.
4:30: He has three stores in Russia and several in China. He's sees himself as an ambassador, "an assistant to Obama" if you will.
4:34: Ralph has been married to Ricky for 46 years. He is a family man first and foremost. Ricky is on! She says Ralph is her best friend.
4:37: Ricky said everyone put in their dues. Ralph the breadwinner and she the mother. She feels that the ranch is a spiritual place. Ricky doesn't feel like she's living in an ad because it's their life. The kids are up next!
4:41: Ralph's children are on. Andrew, 42, is a film producer and did The Squid and the Whale. David, 39, is EVP at his father's business and engaged to Lauren Bush. Dylan, 37, is the only daughter and owns Dylan's Candy Bar.
4:44: Even Ralph doesn't get his clothing free because it's a public company. Andrew went into the storytelling business because his father told a story with every collection he designed.
4:47: Andrew gives advice for living in the shadow of a legend. He says "the best thing is to just be happy with what you are doing." David reveals that his most prized possession is the family album that his mom Ricky made. Dylan remembers playing wiffle ball and a game called "boredom" that sounds kind of like Plinko.
4:50: The kids aren't kids anymore. Dylan is getting married in June. Obviously her dad is making her wedding dress. Ralph definitely wanted to make something that he hadn't ever created before. Ricky critiqued some of Ralph's first sketches of Dylan's dress and helped push him in the right direction. It kind of sounds like Oprah is fishing for an invite to the wedding.
4:52: David is getting married in September at the RRL ranch at the spot where Ralph and Ricky fell in love with the land aka The Vance. Andrew points out that they filmed this show on Andrew's birthday.
4:57: The Vance, Ralph and Ricky's favorite spot is named after the couple they bought the land from and who built one of the barns. Of course Ralph added his own touch and put in the chandeliers.
4:58: Each night on the RRL ranch the family sits together by the fire for dinner. That night Oprah joined them and it's an experience she won't forget. Earlier in the program she mentioned how she had been driving past the ranch over the past 17 years and always wondered what it was like behind the fence. That day she found out and invited all of us on the adventure.
4:59: Show is done. It may have been an interview, but we think the show served as one large Ralph Lauren commercial and not in a bad way. Does this make us want to buy some Ralph Lauren product? Gotta be honest, yes. We're Google mapping the nearest RRL store now. -Benjamin Liong Setiawan
· Oprah [Official Site]
· Ralph Lauren [Official Site]