Fathers: Lee Norwood

The day I met Lee Norwood, he’d just won an eBay auction. He won a pair of antique fraternity graffiti corduroy pants from my alma mater. Traditionally, the pants were passed among classmates and emblazoned with particular catchphrases or logos. After telling him the tale of those trousers, after hearing him speak of his father with such regard, after watching his enthusiastic retelling of his recent trip through my parents’ home town where he discovered some of Kansas City’s classic barbecue joints, I felt a kinship with someone whose talents as a designer I’ve always held in such high regard. He’s taken the house that Ralph built and turned it into something else entirely. Combining his love of workwear, antique militaria, vintage, and prep school dress, Mr. Norwood’s helped Mr. Lauren create a world all its own, and subsequently wreaked havoc on bank accounts worldwide, not least among them mine.

But that day, more than the clothes or the barbecue, the importance of Family really stood out. Here, Lee shares a bit about one of the members of his family, his daughter Hattie.


LeeMy daughter Hattie is four and a half. She has refused my style tips and suddenly in the last year found her style. She doesn’t like anything vintage that I’ve collected for her over the years and says, “Daddy, that looks dirty, why would you wear something with holes?” She hates jeans and only wears dresses and leggings, her “comfy pants.”

She knows that she is my princess; so for Hattie every outfit is accessorized with either a tutu, a tiara, or her silver, glittered flats! The funny thing is that she puts together the craziest outfits that sometimes drive me nuts, but I’ve learned so much from her!

Hattie makes odd combination of pattern and color look cool. She rocks what she loves and feels that day and struts out with confidence and joy. In my industry they say “The suit makes the man,” but I don’t think so. I think it’s the other way around, and I’m reminded everyday of that in my little princess.

– Lee Norwood, Ralph Lauren