Monday, October 15, 2007

Lauren of Moutauk

Amiable recluse? Sounds like my kind of guy. Men's Vogue provides a profile of Ralph Lauren. An excerpt:

Sandy Siberia is the view from the back deck of Lauren's Montauk domain, perched high on an ocean bluff that might as well be the end of the earth. For someone who has devoted his life to observing—and romanticizing—the Sancerre set, Lauren shows a surprising allergy to socializing with them. "I gotta tell you, years ago, when we did that, it was hell," he says. But dodge enough dinner invites and they dry up. "We were driving around one Saturday afternoon and all of a sudden we see a pile of cars outside someone's house. I said, 'We're not invited to anything anymore! What's going on?' We were totally off everyone's list." Oscar Cohen, who grew up with Lauren in the Bronx and now runs Polo's charity—a $15 million foundation devoted to education, health care, and the arts—tells me that Ralph is still the same as he was at age 10: "Quiet, low-key, almost shy…always marching to his own drumbeat." Lauren hardly ever drinks, and has spent most of his downtime with his family and fellow autophiles. He's reluctant to name names, but eventually they trickle out: Rolling Stoner Jann Wenner, who first turned him on to Ferraris, or Ned Tanen, who ran Universal Studios back in the Jaws years. "Ned would get into New York and he'd come up to my office just to get a car fix," Lauren recalls. "We'd sit down, and we'd start talking about cars—not movies, not clothes. And then he'd say, 'Okay, Ralph, I'm finished, I'm going back.' I always loved movies, so I'd say, 'You think I got a role here? Maybe a part?' But no, he was finished."

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