The world according to Ralph Lauren

love-opera-victoria-baker“People asked how can a Jewish kid from the Bronx do preppy clothes? Does it have to do with class and money? It has to do with dreams” said Ralph Lauren.

Ah, dreams. The world this man has created is the stuff of dreams, undiluted by reality. No wonder the Ralph Lauren store on Greenwich Avenue is one of my favorite places to be…even if I do a lot more window shopping than actual spending there.

It’s no secret I’m obsessed with all things Ralph Lauren. I love stepping into his imagination with every dress or scarf that I buy from him. There are several Ralph Lauren women there’s the elegant socialite, the equestrian cowgirl on the Ranch, the British tweed wearing aristocrat. They are all incantations of the Ralph Lauren vision: and I love them all.

So you can imagine my excitement when I learned he will be opening a Cafe in NYC. He has a Ralph Lauren restaurant in Chicago and Paris neither of which I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing yet but I’ll be sure to make up for lost time in the New York Cafe.

I’m not sure what the decor will be like but if the glamour of his other restaurants is anything to go by, it’ll be a tribute to classic Ralph Lauren style. Although the Café or Polo Bar as it will be called, may be more casual than its restaurant counterparts.

The Cafe opening coincides with the expansion of his new ladies Polo Collection. A new flagship Polo store on 711 Fifth Avenue in a limestone building just opened last month and it houses the trendy new Ralph’s coffee shop. I haven’t had a chance to visit yet but it seems younger, hipper than his Grande Dame restaurants.

Other designers come and go. You wear their clothes for a season and they’ve lost their bloom, the fashion has faded and you’re left with their irrelevance. But Ralph, in my house he’s referred to using only his first name, is timeless. I have jackets of his from years ago that are still as relevant today as they were then. That’s because the brand doesn’t follow trends but stays true to its unique persona.

To put it in the great designer’s own words “Style is very personal. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style is forever.”

So Ralph, keep doing what you do best: making people dream. And if any of the Ralph Lauren team are out there reading this: please open up your next Café within the Greenwich flagship store. I’ve done the Starbucks morning ritual; I’d love to have my morning coffee the Ralph Lauren way for a change.


Victoria Baker, of Greenwich, is an opera singer. Winner of many prestigious competitions, she has performed and worked with distinguished artists all over the world (notably at Lincoln Center). Should you have any questions that deserve answers and may be in print please call 203-531-7499 or e-mail [email protected]

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