Ralph Lauren, born Ralph Lifshitz on October 14, 1939, is an iconic American fashion designer renowned for his eponymous luxury brand, Ralph Lauren Corporation. Raised in the Bronx, New York, Lauren’s early fascination with fashion and style drove him to create a global fashion empire.
View this post on Instagram
In 1967, he launched his first line of men’s neckties, quickly gaining recognition for their unique designs and high-quality materials. This initial success led him to expand into women’s wear and, later, an extensive range of lifestyle products, including fragrances, accessories, and home furnishings.
Lauren’s distinctive style blends classic elegance with a touch of Americana, capturing the essence of the American dream. His Polo Ralph Lauren brand, with its iconic polo player logo, became a symbol of preppy sophistication. Over the decades, Ralph Lauren has become an internationally celebrated fashion icon, revolutionizing the industry and leaving an indelible mark on contemporary fashion and design.
Over the years, there has been considerable speculation surrounding Ralph Lauren’s sexual orientation, with rumors suggesting that he may be gay. Now, is there any truth to these rumors? Is Ralph Lauren gay? Let’s find out.
VOTE: What is Ralph Lauren’s Sexuality?
Ralph Lauren’s Sexuality and Relationships
Fashion has historically been perceived as a domain associated with gay men, and this stereotype likely contributes to the assumption that Ralph Lauren, one of the biggest names in the fashion industry, is gay. However, it is worth noting that several highly successful figures in the industry, including Giorgio Armani, Oscar de la Renta, and Ralph Lauren, are surprisingly straight.
Yes, Ralph Lauren is straight.
The fashion icon is married to Ricky Lauren, born as Ricky Ann Loew-Beer, an American author, artist, photographer, and psychotherapist. The couple met in 1964 when Ricky, who was in college at the time, was working a part-time job as a receptionist in the office of an eye doctor. It was love at first sight if you consider the fact that Ralph asked her out on the spot the moment he walked into the office for his appointment.
They went on their first date at a pancake house in upstate New York after he picked her up in his green sports car. Some say he even proposed to her on that same date. The whirlwind romance led to them getting married just six months later.
The couple tied the knot on December 20, 1964, and they have been married for almost six decades now.
Ricky was the “Polo Persona,” serving as the inspiration behind the Polo brand’s ad campaigns. In his 2007 memoir, Ralph talked about his wife being his muse and inspiration.
The fashion icon also mentioned that he launched the women’s line in 1971 because he saw Ricky’s frustration at finding clothes that fit her slim and petite build.
The couple had three children — film producer Andrew Lauren, born in 1969; David Lauren, born in 1971; and Dylan Lauren, born in 1974, who are both in the business field.
View this post on Instagram
Ralph Lauren on Being an LGBTQ Ally
Although the fashion icon doesn’t identify as gay, he has always been a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ community, and this is reflected in the brand’s actions. In fact, Ralph Lauren Corp. dropped professional golfer Justin Thomas because of a gay slur incident.
According to reports, the fashion company ended its sponsorship of Thomas in 2021 after he was heard muttering a gay slur under his breath on TV. This incident occurred during the third round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions wherein the athlete missed a 5-foot par putt on the fourth hole.
Ever since Thomas turned pro, he has been wearing the company’s clothing.
Thomas apologized for what happened and said that what he did was inexcusable.
However, even after his apology, the brand stands by its decision to drop him.
The company, however, was not totally closing their door on Thomas. They, however, said the athlete must work on rebuilding their partnership again.
Ralph Lauren hopes Thomas “does the hard and necessary work in order to partner with us again – truly examining this incident, learning, growing and ultimately using his platform to promote inclusion.”
It’s important to mention that in 2020, The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ advocacy group in the country, designated Ralph Lauren as the “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.”
Ralph Lauren also released its first queer commercial in the Spring 2019 campaign, featuring a same-sex couple. The campaign, titled “Family is Who You Love,” includes footage of real couples and families, one of which was a young lesbian couple.
This was not the first time the clothing brand made it clear that they are an ally. In 2005, the brand worked with Chris Beckman, who is openly gay, in the campaign “Get Involved. Volunteer. Exceed.” In 2015, they partnered with Athlete Ally, an organization that focuses on ending LGBT discrimination in the athletic community. These are just a few of the many instances where the brand has shown its full support for the LGBTQ community.
Is Ralph Lauren Gay?
No, Ralph Lauren is not gay. He has been married to his wife, Ricky Ann Lauren, for almost 60 years, and they have three children together. However, both the fashion icon and the brand have always been vocal about their support for the LGBTQ community, which is evident in the many campaigns the company has done in the past.