Oprah gets almost anything she wants, but up until now even she was denied entry into Ralph Lauren’s Telluride Ranch, which has never before been on camera. Lauren has just not been into the media blowing up his spot, preferring to maintain the mystique of his home, which, in fashion folklore, has been like Mount Olympus for Americana style, motivating fantasies of rolling rocky mountains, wild horses and walls upholstered in beat-up denim and Navajo fabrics. That American West style is Lauren’s signature and has always worked because we’d like to believe that Ralph Lauren himself lives that dusty, cool life, getting his boots dirty on actual terrain and needing his Mexican Blankets to keep warm on the tundra. But he rarely gives interviews or hogs the camera, feeling, perhaps, that his clothes have always represented his passions better than he ever could.
It’s a testament to how strong an icon Lauren has become that Oprah has made a visit to his ranch a hallmark of her very last season on television. His impeccable taste would be reason enough to inspire, but Oprah’s giddiness over Lauren might also come from her knowledge that he hasn’t always lived this romantically American life. He was born Ralph Lifshitz, a Jew from The Bronx, and spent decades reinventing himself into the very pinnacle of an All-American guy and made millions of dollars doing so. That Lauren was raised hundreds of miles from the world he now rules must resonate for Oprah, who herself had an unlikely springboard to become synonymous with her own version of The American Dream. It’s television kismet, two humans that made themselves American titans. Check out clips from the show here.