Everything about Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary extravaganza, which took place Friday night during New York Fashion Week at Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain terrace, was rich. The runway looks — of which there were 111 — were made in rich fabrics like velvet, tweed, and leather. The approximately 200 some guests, who were instructed to wear black-tie, could afford to ditch their last names: Oprah, Kanye, Hillary. And even the food was rare: Steaks were flown in from Lauren’s own ranch in Colorado.
For 50 years, Ralph Lauren has been synonymous with American aspiration. Even if you could only afford a bandana or a whiff of his perfume, being a part of his world makes you feel like a million bucks. “Your work these past 50 years has told the story of lives, the lives that we live and the lives that we aspire to,” said Oprah in a heartfelt speech directed at the designer, who is now 78 years old. “My idea of acknowledging my success, the fact that I had made it, was Ralph Lauren towels … I had been aspiring to that idea for over 10 years.”
The night began with a fashion show that combined all of Ralph Lauren’s different collections under one roof: ready-to-wear, Purple Label, Double RL, and Polo. Supermodels Gigi Hadid and Kaia Gerber both walked, but the cast was a diverse mix of ages and ethnicities. The front row showed equal range, with American designers like Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, and Tommy Hilfiger sitting next to musical artists like Chance the Rapper and actors like Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro. And then, of course, there was Anna Wintour. Like any Ralph Lauren space, the event had everything. Below, your ticket inside New York Fashion Week’s most glamorous night.