Things we never knew about...Ralph Lauren

Think you know the man behind the polo shirt?

Following his appearance at Prince William's star-studded dinner at Windsor Castle to announce that he would be funding an entire breast cancer wing at the Royal Marsden Hospital, we realised that there are a few things we never knew about the generous designer. After having a benign brain tumour removed 25 years ago, he also helped to establish the Ralph Lauren Centre for Cancer Care and Prevention in 2003, a charitable organisation that provides screening for a number of cancers.

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Here's more fascinating facts about the American designer.

Ralph Lauren was actually born Ralph Lifschitz.

He served in the U.S. Army

Remember the one with Ralph Lauren? Ralph made two cameo appearances on Friends, both of which took place in a lift. In The One with Ross’ Teeth, Rachel gets a job at Ralph Lauren, Phoebe comes to visit her at work and kisses Kenny the copy boy, thinking it’s the designer.

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Ralph's wife inspired the Ricky handbag. The couple met in an optician’s office where Ricky was working as a receptionist, before being whisked away by Mr. Lauren.

In 1974, ralph turned his hand to costume design and kitted out Robert Redford and the rest of the male cast of jack Clayton's adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

Past Ralph Lauren employees include Vera Wang, Tory Burch and Thom Browne

Ralph's daughter Dylan owns her own franchise of candy shops called Dylan’s Candy Bar. A designer heiress would never launch an ordinary sweet shop (obviously), and her sugar empire also includes pamper parlours, cocktail bars, and sells handbags, jewellery and toys.

He has a collection of over 70 cars, including new and antique cars worth millions of dollars. One car in particular, a 1938 Bugatti 57sc Atlantic Coupe is one of only two left in the world and there were only four cars originally made.

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