Ralph's European Invasion

GUIDO HARARI/CONTRASTO for TIME

EUROPEAN COWBOY: Ralph Lauren on the steps of his Milan office-cum-palazzo

It's like trying to sell ice to the eskimos," says a london fashion writer. "it's like trying to sell sand to the Arabs," says an executive at a competing British fashion house. "Like trying to sell coal in Newcastle?" suggests Roger Farah, Polo Ralph Lauren's president, with a chuckle. The news that Ralph Lauren, the icon of American style, is pushing hard to expand in Europe is being greeted with a certain degree of skepticism. And bitchiness. Who needs a mass American brand like Lauren when you have the class of Armani, Zegna, Dior and Savile Row? Sure, Europeans are happy...

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