By the time the mid-Eighties rolled around, “Bonanza” had long been off the airwaves, but that didn’t keep Ralph Lauren from building his own Ponderosa — a 10,000-acre ranch known as Double RL in Colorado. Here, WWD visited him in 1985 in full cowboy regalia. “When I watched the movies or read the books, I only saw the purity of the West,” said Lauren at the time. For our photographer George Chinsee, it was a lesson in haute homesteading. “Ralph wanted to put a split-rail fence around the perimeter of the ranch, and it’s a fairly large property that backs up against a reserve,” Chinsee recalls. “He got a call from his accountant, who said, ‘Do you realize how much money you’ve spent already? Just stop!’”

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