Coming to HBO tomorrow, Tuesday, November 12:
A biographical portrait of pioneering fashion designer Ralph Lauren.
Timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Ralph Lauren brand, celebrated in the film’s culmination, filmmaker Susan Lacy’s film is a handsomely mounted tribute to to the designer, as well as an exploration of how he developed his iconic brand. The more straightforward biographical elements retell Lauren’s American success story as the son of immigrants whose unique sense of style paved the way for him to become a transformative menswear designer, but the more compelling material delves a little further into his savvy understanding of brand-building. Developing a unique sense of Americana that both draws from the past but manages to remain timeless, Lauren created an aspirational brand that surprisingly resonated with a diverse audience, despite – or maybe because of – its distinct connotations of privilege. While Lacy gathers a surprising who’s who of famous admirers and fellow fashion icons to discuss Lauren’s importance and impact, it’s in the moments when this aspect of the brand is discussed that the film stands out.