A Concise Guide to Ralph by Ralph Lauren Eyewear

Ralph By Ralph Lauren metal cateye sunglasses in gold dark tortoise – available here

All of our guides focus on designer brands who have made special contributions to the eyewear industry. Many of our most recent guides have focused on European fashion houses, so we’ve decided redress the balance by focusing on one of the biggest American designer labels with an incredible range of eyewear. This is our concise guide to Ralph by Ralph Lauren.

A Brief History of Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren, London (SourceLicence)

Ralph Lauren is one of the most recognisable brands in the world. The eponymous brand and its founder have an interesting history that could span several blog posts, so we’re just going to cover some of the most interesting parts of Ralph Lauren’s history.

The brand’s history arguably began in 1967 when Ralph Lauren was commissioned to design his own line of menswear for designer tie manufacturer Beau Brummell. Lauren was only 28 years’ old and he made the most of this career opportunity by designing a unique range that drew on his interest in polo and other luxury sports. Lauren worked in the Empire State Building and delivered all orders to the various stores himself. In just two years, Ralph Lauren’s “Polo” menswear made such an impression on the luxury department store Bloomingdales that it bought the exclusive rights to sell it.

Scene from The Great Gatsby (1974) – Fair use

Then, in 1971 The Ralph Lauren brand — now in full swing — brought out its own line of tailored women’s shirts, established the now iconic Polo logo, and opened up its first store in California. It was a string of success stories for the brand after that; it seemed that the World couldn’t get enough of Lauren’s signature vintage preppy look. In fact, Ralph Lauren’s aesthetic was so highly sought-after that he was commissioned to design all of the costumes for the 1974 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, staring Robert Redford. Both The Great Gatsby and Ralph Lauren were inextricably connected to New York city, and the film was a big hit!

In 1977, the brand brought out its famous polo shirts available in various bright colours. These polo shirts are one of the most iconic fashion designs in history and are still worn to this day. Then, in 1981, the Ralph Lauren brand moved into Europe and the international market, and the rest is history. Ralph Lauren is revered as one of the finest American fashion houses with a unique and memorable take on American fashion design.

Ralph Lauren’s Various Brands

People are often confused about the different Ralph Lauren sub-brands that have formed over the years. There is Polo Sport, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ralph by Ralph Lauren, Lauren Ralph Lauren, and several other variations. Although confusing at first glance, these different sub-brands were established to organise the brand’s huge design offering into more manageable smaller brand identities. We have three Ralph Lauren brands here at B Sunglasses: Polo Ralph Lauren, Ralph by Ralph Lauren, and Ralph Lauren. Although we’d like to focus on Ralph by Ralph Lauren in this blog post, we’d just like to give you an introduction to all three brands.

Polo Ralph Lauren Sunglasses

A selection of our Polo Ralph Lauren sunglasses (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right)

The Polo Ralph Lauren brand includes the label’s classic sportswear, its polo shirts, and anything that taps into this vintage aesthetic. When this translates to eyewear design we see lots of classic round and square designs, modernised by high-quality materials and colours. Browse our entire Polo Ralph Lauren eyewear collection.

Ralph Lauren Sunglasses

A selection of our Ralph Lauren sunglasses (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right)

The Ralph Lauren brand focuses mainly on womenswear but not exclusively. It is more glamourous than the sporty Polo brand but more down-to-earth and understated than the Ralph by Ralph Lauren brand. Its sunglasses often have thick rims and they all have a distinctively modern New York aesthetic. Browse our entire Ralph Lauren eyewear collection.

Ralph by Ralph Lauren Sunglasses

A selection of our Ralph by Ralph Lauren sunglasses (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right)

The Ralph by Ralph Lauren brand was founded in 1994 and it specialises in sports coats, suits, suit vests, dress pants, etc. This brand is dedicated to high-fashion, formalwear and its sunglasses are sleek, modern, yet they still tap into Ralph Lauren’s Art Deco New York heritage. Browse our entire Ralph by Ralph Lauren eyewear collection. It’s this collection that we’re going to look at in more detail for the remainder of this guide.

Ralph by Ralph Lauren’s Cateye Glasses and Sunglasses

A selection of Ralph by Ralph Lauren’s cateye glasses and sunglasses (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right)

Ralph by Ralph Lauren puts just as much effort into its glasses as it does into its sunglasses, and this is especially apparent in its range of cateye designs. The brand opts for subtle cateye shapes, with just the hint of the cateye shape coming through many of the designs. This Spartan approach to this classic design highlights the brand’s American heritage and sets it against the exaggerated cateye forms of Italian designers like Giorgio Armani and Miu Miu. If you like the cateye look but you’re looking for something a little more subtle and sophisticated, then our Ralph by Ralph Lauren’s cateye collection is probably exactly what you’re looking for.

Ralph by Ralph Lauren’s Round Sunglasses

A selection of Ralph by Ralph Lauren’s round sunglasses (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right)

Round sunglasses are also a popular style in our Ralph by Ralph Lauren collection. The style’s automatic vintage aesthetic is an easy fit with the brand’s own aesthetic and although there is a wide selection of colours and patterns, the overall silhouettes are very consistent across all the models. Round Ralph by Ralph Lauren round sunglasses are a good fit for anyone looking for a sophisticated pair of round sunglasses that will match easily with most of their outfits.

Ralph by Ralph Lauren’s Pilot Sunglasses

A selection of Ralph by Ralph Lauren pilot sunglasses (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right)

Lastly, we’re looking at Ralph by Ralph Lauren’s treatment of the classic American pilot sunglasses style. This style was originally invented by Ray-Ban, who has trademarked the name “Aviators”. The pilot style is quintessentially American, so it makes sense for Ralph to offer its own interpretation of this classic design. Ralph manages to do its own thing with this style: with more elegant lines, it takes away the rough, casual aesthetic without losing the style’s traditional top-heavy design with a thin metal frame and iconic double bridge. It’s these subtle changes in well-known designs that epitomise the brand’s sophisticated, modern aesthetic. Browse the entire Ralph by Ralph Lauren pilot sunglasses collection.


That’s all we have time for in this Ralph by Ralph Lauren eyewear guide. We hope you’re learned something new about the brand. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!