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‘Very Ralph,’ HBO’s New Documentary About Ralph Lauren, Debuts in November

A deep-dive into Ralph Lauren, his eponymous label, and his formidable 50-year career.

Portrait of fashion designer Ralph Lauren circa 1970Ralph Lauren Fairchild Archive/Penske Media/Shutterstock

We may, at last, be getting a break from the true-crime documentaries which have flooded streaming platforms the past few years: HBO has just revealed it will release a documentary detailing the life of legendary fashion designer Ralph Lauren, and we won’t lie: We’re very excited.

Aptly titled Very Ralph, the feature-length documentary is a deep-dive into Lauren and his eponymous label and tracks the designer’s formidable career, from his humble beginnings in the Bronx through his ascension to the apex of the fashion elite.

“With an uncanny ability to turn his dreams into reality, Ralph Lauren has built a multi-billion-dollar, global powerhouse out of his aspirations, becoming a living embodiment of American optimism and the American Dream,” HBO’s release reads.

That the fashion icon has become fodder for the silver screen is hardly surprising. In 2018, the undisputed king of American prep celebrated 50 years at the helm of his world-renowned label—and everything from coffee table tomes to star-studded fashion shows were organized in tribute. A feature-length film only seems fitting.

Very Ralph will be directed and produced by award-winning documentarian Susan Lacy—who previously shot Jane Fonda in Five Acts and Spielberg—and will feature rare archival footage, as well as intimate interviews with Lauren’s family and long-standing colleagues: Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld, André Leon Talley, Calvin Klein, Diane von Furstenberg and Naomi Campbell all make the cut.

The documentary promises unprecedented access to the designer’s life and doesn’t shy away from pointy (or personal) subject matter. It touches on the label’s early struggles—Lauren speaks candidly about criticism—and chronicles his 50-year marriage with Ricky Anne Loew-Beer. It also touches on the future and details what’s in store as Lauren enters his sixth decade in fashion.

The feature will be the first-ever documentary portrait of the designer, which seems only apropos given the pioneering designer’s own impressive collection of firsts: Lauren was the first to establish a complete lifestyle brand and subsequently expand into home furnishings; he was also among the first to champion diversity—and now sustainability—and the first to design immersive retail spaces that revolutionized the shopping experience.

Very Ralph will debut November 12 on HBO—the documentary will be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.

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