The man behind the polo shirt hasn't given a television interview in over 20 years, but Ralph Lauren couldn't refuse Oprah Winfrey during this, her final season, and agreed to sit down with the Queen of Daytime at his Rocky Mountain retreat in Telluride, Colorado. The hourlong episode featuring the American style icon airs today, May 18. I'm intrigued.

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Ralph Lauren on the runway, September 2010 via Paul Morigi/

The previews for the interview show Lauren riding horses in a jean jacket, sitting in a rocking chair on a porch overlooking his massive estate, and driving Winfrey around his ranch in a beautifully rusted 1948 vintage Jeep. In Oprah's 30-second preview, we see exactly what we'd expect to see from a house that Ralph built. It's his brand to a T -- all that was missing were blond butlers in pink polos and cheerful women spritzing Romance on every passerby.

In the interview, Lauren discusses his 44-year-old fashion career (which, by the way, started back in 1967 with a tie shop in New York City), how the idea for the polo shirt came about, and the upcoming weddings of both his son, David, and daughter, Dylan.

I want to watch for a few reasons: One, I like seeing how the really rich live (his net worth is estimated to be around $4.6 billion, with a "b"), two, I want to see Oprah in some patterned sweaters with toggles, and three, I'd like to know a little bit more about the man who shaped my high school existence.

At an all-girls boarding school in Virginia, it was hard to imagine that our economy wasn't entirely reliant on the RL brand. His designs, from pique polos to khakis to non-iron button-down shirts were the school uniform ... and we didn't have a uniform. Didn't even have a dress code. It was just instinctual, and sure, somewhat cultish, that most of the student body chose to wear what we all thought was the symbol of all-American style. That little guy on a horse with a polo stick was everywhere you looked. Hats, T-shirts, belts, sheets, towels and even thermoses weren't safe. Any opportunity we had to announce to the school that we subscribed to the Ralph Lauren lifestyle, we took it.

We did it because it was a consistant message of preppy comfort. It's both luxurious and accessible -- the sign-up sheets for trips to the outlet mall were always full. A polo shirt was, and is, so effortlessly appropriate, that it has remained a staple in so many men's and women's wardrobes for over four decades.

I'm curious where Lauren's idea for the classic design came from. Was it an actual polo match? Maybe an alien abduction? Perhaps Oprah was his inspiration, whispering in his ear that he shall make the greatest shirt of modern ready-to-wear. I totally believe she has that kind of power, and time-travel abilities. Right?

Click through the gallery of Ralph Lauren looks and tell us your favorites in the comments.