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Ralph Lauren for the Ladies

by habituallychic

10 . 18 . 10
The biggest buzz this weekend was about the new Ralph Lauren boutique that opened on Madison Avenue.  Located across the street from his already famous Rhinelander mansion for men, this one is devoted to women and home.  Unlike most retailers who hire the “it architect” of the moment to create a modern store, Ralph Lauren chose to look to the past and to complement the Rhinelander mansion. 

The Beaux Arts style limestone beauty was a collaboration between Weddle Gilmore and architect Thomas Hut of HS2 Architecture with a nod to McKim, Mead & White. It harkens back to the age of Edith Wharton and looks rather grand.

According to The New York Times, Ruth Brown, a widow, hired McKim, Mead & White in 1893 to design a house at the southwest corner of Madison Avenue at 72nd Street (above).  She never moved into the mansion and in 1895 it was sold to Alva Vanderbilt. Work on Gertrude Rhinelander Waldo’s “fanciful chateau” on the southeast corner was completed in 1897.  It was bought by Ralph Lauren for his store in 1986. 
As you can see, there was nothing chic about the building that replaced the original McKim, Mead & White mansion in the 1950’s.  It later became another Ralph Lauren boutique which was torn down to make way for this chic boutique.

Even though the building is dedicated to Ralph Lauren, there is something about the black and white central staircase with its mirrored walls that reminds me of Coco Chanel.  I think she too would have also enjoyed this space.
The whole building is absolutely gorgeous and I highly recommend a visit.  Right now, the Ralph Lauren Home boutique occupies the fourth floor but I hear it will be moved to the adjacent brownstone under construction.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted.  Happy Shopping!

Ralph Lauren
888 Madison Avenue
at 72nd Street
New York, NY 10021

Photos from New York magazine, Vogue, Luxist and The New York Times

Comments Closed

  1. Villa Anna October 18, 2010 | 8:56 pm

    Absolutely mind blowing…..Thank you!

    Anna 🙂

  2. Michael Mattison October 18, 2010 | 9:04 pm


  3. Olivia October 18, 2010 | 9:05 pm

    love that black staircase rail!!

  4. knusperwald October 18, 2010 | 9:53 pm

    Really amazing pics. Love the RL style

  5. Studio 13 October 18, 2010 | 10:04 pm

    Oh, I could live in that store… beautiful.

  6. Teresa at Splendid Sass October 18, 2010 | 10:04 pm

    Ralph Lauren will be my first stop when we go to New York during Christmas. Absolutely beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing.

  7. Pablo October 18, 2010 | 10:09 pm


  8. Nita {ModVintageLife} October 18, 2010 | 10:10 pm

    Kudos to Ralph Lauren for creating a building that will stand the test of time. He knows his customer. I get so tired of buildings going up that are the “In” thing for the moment only to look terrible in 10 years. This building will always be beautiful.

  9. Luciane October 18, 2010 | 10:59 pm

    Sorry, guys… I don’t mean to be rude, but this post is OOOOOORGASMIC! LOL
    Not that I am attractive to RL but all this stuff is amazing! 😉

    Thank you, Heather!



  10. Pablo October 18, 2010 | 11:20 pm

    Oh, by the waym I’m starting a blog that I thought you might like…! There’s not a lot of stuff yet, but there will be =). Take a look if you want!


  11. mydesignchic October 18, 2010 | 11:30 pm

    Wow…how beautiful!! We are going to be in New York for Thanksgiving…definitely need to check it out – thanks!!

  12. Alcira Molina-Ali October 19, 2010 | 3:20 am


    I posted on this the other day but the supplemental images and beefed up background story really add punch to the whole RL fairytale!
    The space is beyond move-in ready ; )

    Cheers, Alcira


  13. Amy October 19, 2010 | 4:17 am

    truly stunning you must visit my blog and check out the party i attended for my friends 50th birthday!

  14. Susan M. Jamieson, ASID October 19, 2010 | 11:53 am

    Love that staircase – so Coco Channel

  15. Vanessa October 19, 2010 | 12:31 pm

    Really Nice pics. Love the RL style

  16. Alice Olive October 19, 2010 | 12:33 pm

    Yes, it is a grand and beautiful building.

  17. the designers muse October 19, 2010 | 1:56 pm

    Beautiful…hard to belive that it’s a new building and not a renovation. It definately feels like the old New York of McKim Mead and White and Edith Wharton. I’m surprised though, that the interiors are so glitzy.

  18. jones October 19, 2010 | 1:56 pm

    Over the top and absolutely gorgeous.

  19. YELENA October 19, 2010 | 2:09 pm

    OMG, this is Stunning!

  20. La Maison Fou October 19, 2010 | 2:37 pm

    This will be a must for my upcoming NYC trip!
    Love that ottoman! I die.


  21. Modern Country Lady October 19, 2010 | 4:51 pm

    See this and weep! Absolutely gorgeous- and soooo far away.( money wise and geographically !! _) Wish I lived in Ralph Lauren land! 🙂
    Thank for showing us!!

  22. ashley cooper October 21, 2010 | 5:56 am

    WOW!! Is this what heaven looks like? Does it come full furnished with Ralph Lauren, if so that’s my heaven! Love the luxury of it, that’s Ralph!!

  23. Claudia Juestel November 26, 2010 | 6:49 pm

    Having worked at RL I will always continue to be impressed by Ralph’s boldness when it comes to business. He never skimps, and this is another stunning result of his vision. Thank you for the thorough review.



  24. The enchanted home January 4, 2011 | 1:52 am

    This is sooo beautiful..takes my breath away. I have to say his taste level really takes my breath away. Well done!

  25. thom brian January 16, 2011 | 3:55 pm

    Classic, Elegant, tasteful and timeless…would we expect anything less from Ralph Lauren?