Ralph Lauren Inc announced plans to restore the famed Parisian fine-arts college l’École des Beaux-Arts. The elite school, attended by only 500 or so students at any one time, will undergo a two-year renovation estimated to run upwards of several million dollars. Specifically, the Ralph Lauren Corporation has pledged to restore the historic Amphithéâtre d’honneur at the heart of the 365-year-old classical arts academy. The new-and-improved lecture theatre will be outfitted with stadium seating and the latest audio-visual technology. The school’s website will also see a major overhaul, with far greater online access to the school’s vast archives of paintings and statuary.
Before construction begins, the semi-domed theatre will play host to a repeat of Ralph Lauren’s Fall 2013 runway show, days after the regularly scheduled Spring collections in Paris. Ralph Lauren has always enjoyed a special relationship with Paris which is home to his first and still largest European store, itself a restoration of a 17th-century hôtel particulier on Boulevard St. Germain. In 2010, Ralph Lauren was awarded Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur.