“I have always felt like I wrote through my clothes, so I feel like I have been sharing my story for the last five decades,” explains fashion icon Ralph Lauren. The man behind the eponymous empire has woven the breathtaking beauty of the American dream into everything from tailored tweed blazers to his Americana-inspired home collection, going on six decades. “I have never felt as much energy and passion for what I do as I do right now, and I’m surrounded by amazing people that believe, like I do, in authenticity and a timeless kind of style and the importance of doing things with passion—always dreaming for what is next,” he says.
The designer’s debut documentary portrait, which just hit HBO mid-November, is directed by award-winning Susan Lacy (Jane Fonda in Five Acts, Spielberg) and executive produced by Graydon Carter. The film is rich with interviews with luminaries such as Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld, André Leon Talley, Hillary Clinton, Robin Givhan, Jason Wu, Naomi Campbell, Martha Stewart, Calvin Klein and Diane von Furstenberg—as well as earnest family interviews and rare footage from the notoriously private clan. “Ralph’s story is so much richer than the story of a man from the Bronx who started out designing and selling ties, yet that is what most people know about him, and I was drawn to telling a deeper story than that,” says Lacy. “Ralph took his vision of an America he saw in the movies of his youth and translated that into a global, multibillion-dollar business with no fashion training and no master plan.”