Greg Lauren is the designer and fashion label known for tearing fabrics apart to put back together in a new form. This has been the conceptual artist’s approach to design since he started his label in 2011. He creates clothing pieced together from aged traditional tailoring fabrics, military surplus, or vintage workwear.
It’s an interesting approach to creativity that seems even more provocative when you consider Lauren’s personal history. As his name indicates, he belongs to the family of Ralph Lauren, a scion of America’s first family of fashion. His uncle is Ralph, and his father, Jerry, has been Ralph’s creative director for menswear for more than 40 years.
“I grew up learning to understand why I should want to dress like Cary Grant or the Duke of Windsor, and the difference between a peak lapel and a notch lapel. It was very useful. But I also equated that kind of dressing with a certain aspiration, something that was symbolic of privilege and upper class.” says the 47-year-old, who has also been an actor – he appeared in the movies The Wedding Planner and Boogie Nights. Also, Greg Lauren is married to the actor Elizabeth Berkley.
Starting his own fashion label Greg Lauren admits, he “rebelled against that background in an attempt to understand it. It’s a direct interrogation and exploration of things that I grew up with.” From his teenage years onwards, Lauren collected vintage pieces at flea markets. “I lived in clothing that represented every male archetype,” he says with a laugh. “I owned every motorcycle jacket that one person could have, and to this day I have still not been on a motorcycle.” Eventually, he taught himself to sew. “My first jacket was the result of many mistakes and sleeves on the wrong side. I took it apart and put it back together a dozen times to make it even remotely wearable, and it was still really terrible. But it was so imperfect that it was perfect and I wore it.” He now shows his alternative Lauren approach on the catwalk at New York Fashion Week and we find the pieces very extraordinary and RAW.
- Los Angeles