Ralph Lauren almost stopped designing women's clothing.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

The legendary American designer recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of his eponymous brand, but the 78-year-old creative genius admitted that when he first started creating ladies' clothes in 1971 he didn't "really know his way around" and was overwhelmed by the responsibility given to him.

In an interview with The Times newspaper, he said: "When I did my first women's collection Bloomingdale's opened a shop for me right next to Saint Laurent and I said, 'Oh my God!' I thought I had had enough of women's. I said to them, 'I don't want to go any further because I don't really know my way around,' and they said, 'Ralph you've got to, we've opened a shop for you, you're doing well, keep going.' And then I kept going. "

The fashion icon admits that initially the female form didn't inspire his creations as his focus was always menswear.

But Ralph now thinks this has helped him create his own unique approach to womenswear as his designs are mostly simpler looks for ladies who don't want to "look complicated" in their outfits.

He said: "Well I had a wife, I have a wife. And I looked at girls. And I looked at them from the point of view of a man looking at a girl, not a designer looking at them. I don't tell women what to wear, but I would always be attracted to someone who looks natural, who don't look complicated in their clothes."

Ralph "doesn't like" the term fashion and instead prefers to talk about style, as that represents who you are as a person.

He said: "I like style. Style is, in a way, who you are, and using your own sensibilities to present yourself. I never went to fashion school but I do design clothes. I do come up with the dream. I want it to be good and I want it to be timeless."

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