Usually when we think of the fashion industry, we think of pretty clothes and not philanthropy. Ralph Lauren is one of our all-time favorite designers because he really does care about humans just as much as he cares about their wardrobes. Not only has Ralph Lauren been a revolutionary force in the fashion industry, but he also works tirelessly and donates vast amounts of his fortune to fund philanthropic ventures, including cancer research centers. In the realm of fashion, Ralph Lauren has done for sport wear what Coco Chanel did for women’s slacks and the little black dress: he has taken sporty clothes out of the gym and field and put them on the street as comfortable, affordable, and practical clothes that we can look fabulous while wearing. His Polo line made it not only acceptable but fashionable to wear sportswear shirts in public, with the signature casual collar on his knit shirts and the logo of the polo pony.
But Ralph Lauren didn’t stop at designing clothes that are easy to wear and live in. When his close friend Nina Hyde was diagnosed with breast cancer, he began designing pieces to increase awareness of breast cancer with proceeds of the sales going to fund breast cancer research. Since then he has funded and co-founded cancer research centers, created the Pink Pony line in his own well-known Polo label and made breast cancer a topic of public discussion on all levels of society. Breast cancer is not Ralph Lauren’s only philanthropic project, either: he also has the Ralph Lauren Children’s Literacy Program, Ralph Lauren Volunteers, the American Heroes Fund, Habitat for Humanity, and many other programs that he helps to fund to make a difference in the world. We don’t know about you, but we love it when our fashion choices can make the world a better place too!