Who: Ralph Lauren is largely an entrepeneur, but also a fashion designer, not only of clothing but of fragrances.

What: Ralph Lauren is the chairman and chief executive of his company, Polo Ralph Lauren.

Where: Ralph Lauren's first store opened in 1971 and eventually led to his New York City flagship store in the Rhinelander Mansion on Madison Avenue, which debuted in 1986. In 1993, the Polo Sport store opened directly across the street. There are now 130 Polo/Ralph Lauren stores around the world including London, Tokyo and Paris. (http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jwalk/polo.htm)

Recent: Ralph Lauren & Co. have recently come under fire from the public. In a news article dated October 5, 2001, Ralph Lauren & Co. demonstrate their strong-arm tactics:
The U.S. Polo Association has filed a $100 million lawsuit against fashion designer Ralph Lauren for allegedly using a campaign of intimidation to sink the association's apparel line.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court, accuses New York fashion house Polo Ralph Lauren of sending "intimidating" and "threatening" letters to retailers claiming that designs on some of the polo association's clothing infringed on Polo's clothing trademarks.
Ralph Lauren & Co. is also accused of "sweatshopping" their products in a small country called Saipan.
Workers immigrate to this tiny island in search of better jobs in garment factories. Instead, they find nightmarish working conditions including debt bondage, organized crime, corrupt officials, and sexual slavery. They live in guarded dormitories surrounded by barbed wire, facing inward, and work from 12 to 18 hours a day without overtime. While the clothes they make carry a Made in the USA label, the workers themselves labor in circumstances not even remotely close to U.S. labor standards.
Let us hope that Polo Ralph Lauren can break their evil ties and bring down their prices a bit. :)

Society: Like other "corporate evils" such as Nike, it is unfortunate that Ralph Lauren's quality fashions are incredibly overpriced yet still one of the "building blocks" of today's fashion world. I spent $70 the other day getting Eau de Toilette for my girlfriend, I should know. ;)

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