Sequestered with his family at Double RL Ranch – dad’s sprawling 16,000-acre property in Telluride, Colorado – Rugby Lauren, the 10-ish-year-old rescue belonging to Ralph and Ricky Lauren, was eager to chat about quarantine life out West. We caught up with Rugby, via Zoom, between morning cattle herds and afternoon horseback rides to discuss life on the legendary ranch – which has paid host to Oprah in the not so distant past – what he misses most about New York’s Polo Bar, and which vintage car in his dad’s legendary collection is his favorite. See highlights from our latest Designer Dog interview below…
Owner: Ralph Lauren
Home State: Colorado
Minnie Muse: Hi Rugby! So nice to meet you. Tell me, from where are you Zooming with us today?
Rugby Lauren: Thanks for having me! I’ve been quarantining at our Double RL Ranch, just outside of Telluride, Colorado. This week marks two months since we moved West.
MM: That sounds like the perfect place to social distance. Are you there with your family?
RL: Yes, I am here with my mom and pops, and all three of my siblings – Andrew, David and Dylan – and their families.
MM: What a crew! All of you together surrounded by that mountain scape must look like a picturesque Ralph Lauren ad…
RL: Let’s just say there is no shortage of plaid, denim, suede, Western belt buckles, or cowboy boots.
MM: Are you also expected to dress in uniform?
RL: I think I would feel like an outsider if I didn’t! Pops gave me a pair of cowboy boots on my first visit to the Ranch, which I still wear to this day. I also have a sterling silver and turquoise dog tag fastened to a western-style collar, which I am always wearing, I think they are nervous I’ll get lost during one of our cattle herds.
MM: Cattle herding – that sounds like fun! How else have you all been keeping busy?
RL: We spend most of our time outdoors, breathing the fresh mountain air. The property has over 15,000 acres so there is plenty of room to run around. We go horseback riding every afternoon, and I love playing catch and frisbee with my nieces and nephews.
MM: Do you have room for one more guest? I can sleep outside!
RL: Haha. Of course we do! We each have our own compound on the property, and there are even three guest tepees. A few years back pops built me a farm-style doghouse right next to the main lodge. We can bunk together.
MM: Thank you, you’re too kind. Well I guess this interview is over, I am going to go pack my bags…
MM: All jokes aside, I bet Double RL Ranch has played host to some legendary guests; do you have any favorites?
RL: A few years back pops invited Oprah here to film one of the final episodes of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” ending its 25-year run. I hopped in the pickup truck as pops toured her around the property. It was surreal to meet “The Queen of All Media” in such a laid-back setting. She even played catch with me one day after shooting wrapped.
MM: That’s what I call riding in style… Since we are on the topic of cars, your dad has one of the world’s most valuable collections of vintage automobiles, some of which were even featured in an exhibition at the Louvre in 2011. Do you have a favorite car in his collection?
RL: I love when pops brings me the garage with him, but only on special occasions will he take me for a spin. His classic red Ferraris are my personal favorites, but the one he enjoys riding most is his 1958 Mercedes-Benz Roadster.
MM: You can never go wrong with a red Ferrari. Speaking of classics, do you have any interest in art? I see a cool paining behind you… is that a Warhol?
RL: Yes, it’s a print from Andy Warhol’s ‘Cowboys and Indians’ series. Pops thought it fit perfectly with the Western vibe of the Ranch, he only collects art that falls in line with the Ralph Lauren aesthetic. We have a few go-to galleries in the city, but my personal favorite is the William Secord Gallery on the Upper East Side. They specialize in nineteenth and twentieth century dog and animal paintings; I see so much of myself in the work.
MM: I hope the days of casual gallery visits return soon. Are you missing the city at all?
RL: I am, I think we all are, but I can’t complain and all, getting to spend quality time with my family. The thing I miss the most is sitting with my dad in his New York City office while he works. It's filled with all his memorobelia and the coziest, worn-in brown leather sofa, which happens to be my favorite spot for an afternoon nap. I’ve been cuddling there since I was a puppy… Oh, and the food-- I definitely miss New York restaurants.
MM: Ugh, who doesn’t?! Any place in particular? Can I take a guess…?
RL: Pops owns a number of restaurants and cafés around the world, but my favorite is definitely The Polo Bar in Midtown Manhattan. It’s a 5-minute walk from the office, so we usually go for an early bite after work and sit in our favorite corner booth. They all know my order by heart: The Polo Bar Burger (no bun) with a side of extra crispy, hand-cut fries.
MM: Have you been eating well on the ranch? I see a table set behind you… do you dine alone?
RL: Let’s just say I am never hungry. Yes, I usually have dinner in my cabin and then join the family for a movie in the main lodge. All of my dog bowls are custom made by Ralph Lauren Home. I love the tartan pattern of the Wexford dinner set, and the delicate feather designs of the Carolyn collection.
MM: Can you take us through what a typical movie night at Double RL Ranch is like? What’s on schedule for tonight?
RL: The Lauren family loves movie nights. We all eat dinner on the early side I walk over to the main cabin around 7:30. Pops has Frank Sinatra playing from the speakers, and he and mom are in the living room dancing. My siblings come back from putting their kids to bed and usually try and squeeze in a game of pool before the lights dim. Everyone takes a seat with their preferred snack – I like buttered popcorn and Sour Patch Kids – and the movie starts promptly at 8. We always take turns selecting a feature, I think Andrew chose Rocky for tonight, a Lauren family favorite.
MM: You can never go wrong with Rocky, a story of strength and resilience, it must remind your dad a lot about his own life and career. Looking back, do you have a favorite moment?
RL: There are so many, but one that stands out in particular was the Ralph Lauren Fall/Winter 2013 accessories collection, for which I was the inspiration. We made a campaign video called ‘Dog Walk’ that featured ASPCA rescue dogs. The idea was to raise awareness for Shelter Dog Adoptions, a cause that has meant a lot to my pops since he rescued me years ago.
MM: What a great way to use your incredible platform to do good… Well, I am sure you are excited to get back to work and make more magic with your dad. Just as I am sure you are looking forward to devouring that meal behind you and sneaking off for movie night. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Rugby, it’s been a pleasure to get to know you. Stay well!
RL: Thank you, Minnie Muse. Back at cha!