We shot Ralph Lauren’s new autumn looks alongside his insane car collection

Inside the American mastermind’s personal automotive playground with the stylish clothing he designed for the season

It’s not every day that one of the most sophisticated car collectors in the world invites you to look round the collection in their secret garage. It’s also not every day that one of the planet’s most successful designers, fashion or otherwise, unlocks the door into their most precious and private world. When both of those things happen at once? Well that’s a good day. So when Ralph Lauren opened the doors to his extraordinary trove of classic and modern automobiles, we thought it only fitting to select autumn looks from Purple Label and Polo to pair with our favourite vehicles.

1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe

Photo by Ben Lamberty

Designed by Ettore Bugatti’s son, Jean, just four Type 57 Atlantics were built (the whereabouts of only three are still known). This one was ordered by Richard B. Pope and is an inch higher inside than the others, because Pope was tall and requested the extra headroom. It was purchased by Lauren in 1988 and fully restored.

Ralph Lauren Collection wool jacket, US$1,990, cotton shirt, US$690, wool pants, US$1,090, and patent pumps, US$750.

1929 Birkin Bentley Blower

Photo by Ben Lamberty

Bentley Boy and racing driver Sir Tim Birkin persuaded Dorothy Paget, an eccentric and wealthy auto enthusiast, to sponsor a supercharged racing team of 4.5-litre Blowers. This is one of the four Birkin team cars.

Polo Ralph Lauren tweed coat, US$1,298, vintage antique-wax jacket, US$1,298, merino-wool sweater, US$148, and wool-flannel pants, US$398.

From left: 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Alloy Berlinetta, 1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 “Daytona” Spyder, 1991 Ferrari F40

Photo by Ben Lamberty

On her: Ralph Lauren Collection long-sleeve hooded top, US$890, pants, US$1,670, and patent pumps, US$750.

On him: Ralph Lauren Purple Label silk-shantung suit, US$5,495, silk-shantung dress shirt, US$795, linen tie, US$235, calf slippers, US$1,250, and medium steel white dial stirrup watch, US$3,800.

1950 Jaguar XK120 Alloy “Works” Roadster

Photo by Ben Lamberty

Bought by Lauren in 1985, this XK120 was originally red. But he created his own bespoke green paint, with more olive to it than the traditional British racing green.

Ralph Lauren Purple Label shearling bomber jacket, US$5,495.

1959 Porsche RSK “Works”

Photo by Ben Lamberty

Porsche made 34 RSKs, with the first group, including Lauren’s, being team race cars. This one has a unique wishbone rear suspension, giving it better cornering ability.

Ralph Lauren Purple Label cotton-linen field jacket, US$2,195, silk-shantung dress shirt, US$795, and linen tie, US$235.

1996 McLaren LM F1

Photo by Ben Lamberty

One of five special F1s, produced to commemorate the five finishes F1s had at Le Mans in 1995, and purchased at auction by Lauren in 2004. The unusual shade is Papaya Orange, Bruce McLaren’s team colour, chosen so his cars could easily be spotted when watching on TV.

Ralph Lauren Purple Label peak-lapel blazer, US$2,495, cashmere turtleneck sweater, US$1,095, slim-fit stretch jeans, US$595, and silver 32 mm white dial 867 watch, US$8,350.

1930 Mercedes-Benz SSK “Count Trossi”

Photo by Ben Lamberty

This extraordinary machine was designed by Count Carlo Felice Trossi, a race-car driver and president of the Ferrari Racing Division, who sketched the bodywork and took it to a coachbuilder to be completed. It has since won Best in Show at both Pebble Beach and Villa d’Este. Lauren purchased this in the same deal as the Bugatti Atlantic Coupe.

On her: Ralph Lauren Collection gown, US$5,490, and patent pumps, US$750.

On him: Ralph Lauren Purple Label camel-hair coat, US$7,995, and cashmere turtleneck sweater, US$1,095.

1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

Photo by Ben Lamberty

Ralph Lauren Purple Label lamb-suede sportcoat, US$4,995, cashmere overshirt, US$1,995, cashmere turtleneck, US$1,095, and large chronograph steel stirrup watch, US$8,700.

1971 Mercedes 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet

Photo by Ben Lamberty

There’s an apocryphal tale that Lauren sold his early tie collection out of his trunk, and while that hasn’t been confirmed, it makes for nice inspiration for this shot with the current selection.

Polo Ralph Lauren wool-twill jacket, US$998, and wool-flannel pants, US$398; Ralph Lauren Purple Label burnished-calfskin boots, US$1,895.

1971 Mercedes 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet

Photo by Ben Lamberty

The first car Ralph Lauren bought after starting his own business, it still gets plenty of use to this day.

Photo by Ben Lamberty

On him: Polo Ralph Lauren cotton-sateen pants, US$298, and leather cap-toe boots, US$228.

On her: Ralph Lauren Purple Label Ralph’s Garage Coverall, US$2,995; Ralph Lauren Collection patent pumps, US$750

2015 Ferrari LaFerrari

Photo by Ben Lamberty

The first foray into hybrid electric from the team at Maranello, the LaFerrari combines a V-12 engine with an electric motor to produce 950 hp. None of the 499 produced were originally for general sale; they were offered for purchase to select clients. Many of Lauren’s Ferraris are red, but the designer chose this black-on-black configuration.

Polo Ralph Lauren wool coat, US$998, and wool suit, US$1,498; Ralph Lauren Purple Label cashmere and silk sweater, US$1,095, and calfskin cap-toe shoes, US$1,350.

Models: Finnlay Davis, Nakee, Cleirys Velasquez
Hair: Jason Murillo
Makeup: Jezz Hill
Senior Market Editor and Casting: Luis Campuzano
Fashion Assistant: Kimberly Infante
Photo Assistant: Luke Stoychoff
Digital Tech: William Manchuck
Production Assistant: Elizabeth Steele

This story was first published on Robb Report USA