Icon Celebrated in New Collector’s Book Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt From Rizzoli International
“It was never about a shirt, but a way of living.” – Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) announces the celebration of its most iconic product – the Polo Shirt – alongside Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt, a new coffee table book published by Rizzoli International. This quintessential, singular piece of clothing is ubiquitous and has served as the canvas for the lifestyles and worlds that have inspired Ralph Lauren since 1972. The 360-degree marketing campaign to accompany the book launch will reflect on the incredible cultural impact that the Polo Shirt has had over the past five decades and reintroduce it to a new generation of consumers through a series of initiatives and installations, a collection of sustainable, creative and customizable Polo Shirts available for purchase, immersive storytelling and more.
At the centerpiece of the campaign, Rizzoli International will publish Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt, which is a fascinating look back at the history of the enduring wardrobe classic. With beautiful photography, an introduction by Ralph Lauren, and an afterword by David Lauren, the book shines the spotlight on the shirt, itself. Embodying a chic casualness that is uniquely American, the Polo shirt is a cultural symbol, worn by everyone from movie stars and presidents to athletes and artists. As stated within the first chapter, “The Polo shirt is to Ralph Lauren what Mickey Mouse is to Disney or the Empire State Building is to New York City.” Whether worn with the collar popped up, open and untucked, or dressed up under a suit jacket, the Polo embodies the optimism of American style. For over five decades, the Polo shirt has journeyed everywhere, creating memories for all who have made it part of their lives. It became not only a canvas for Lauren’s artistry, but a backdrop and inspiration for many dreams, hopes, and ambitions for people all over the world.
As Ralph Lauren, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Ralph Lauren Corporation, states in the introduction, “I wanted the shirt to become part of the life of the person who wore it. I never knew that after fifty years it would become such a personal icon all over the world. What I do has always come from the way people live. It’s honest and from the heart and hopefully that is what touches the diversity of people who wear my Polo and all my clothes.”
This 544-page compendium celebrates and documents the iconic style and influential impact of the Polo Shirt, which has never been defined by the latest trend. A juxtaposition of modernity and heritage, tradition and individuality, refinement and ease, it always endures and continues to evolve in innovative and sustainable ways. As seen through historic imagery and told through the personal stories of celebrities, politicians and presidents, royals, world class athletes, as well as everyday people, the book showcases various individuals who have made the Polo their own and inspired others to follow suit along the way. From the classic white to the weathered Polo, from the Earth Polo to the US Olympics, the US Open, and Wimbledon Championship collaborations, this unique volume celebrates the full spectrum of the Polo, making it a collector’s dream.
American Filmmaker Ken Burns sums it up best in his foreword, “When you wear a Polo shirt you’re instantly engaged in a profound irony between being unique, but also—because so many others in the world wear it—belonging.”
Ralph Lauren aspires to use responsibly sourced and sustainable materials that prolong product life while requiring less from the planet. In line with those sustainability goals and initiatives and in connection with the launch of the brand’s latest book Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt, there will be expanded offerings of the classic Polo Shirt available. As part of the Company’s goal to offer more circular experiences for consumers, a limited number of select vintage and collectible designs, seen within the pages of Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt, will be made available for purchase in select stores and select regions. Sourced from the brand’s exclusive archival collection, each piece was carefully examined by Ralph Lauren experts to verify their authenticity. Also introduced by way of this vintage offering will be The Upcycled Polo Shirt. Selected from a limited-edition collection of Polo Shirts that have been hand-repaired by artisans from the Los Angeles-based circular design platform, Atelier & Repairs, each Polo is sourced from North America, and given a second life through a unique over-dyeing process that gives each shirt its vibrant true indigo hue and patched with vintage fabrics on the placket and at the gussets. Exciting new options will also be built into the Create Your Own (CYO) Customization program featuring the recently introduced Custom Polo, Made to Order that includes a choice of solid, striped or color-blocked designs for the body, collar and sleeves, as well as the ability to have lettering and symbols knit into each cuff. This on-demand manufacturing model helps reduce product inventory and provides hundreds of combinations available for the customer to make each polo their own to then be knit to order using elevated flat knit technology.
The Company will open The Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt Shop Concept Store in both Berlin (Opening May 18th) and Ginza (Open Now). The shop will celebrate more than 50 years of Ralph Lauren design through deeply engaging storytelling, exciting visual presentation, immersive technology, special programming and augmented reality virtual shopping experiences. The shop will be focused on selling this singular, iconic product and will showcase its most extensive breadth of Polo shirt offerings ever including a Custom CYO shop for men, women and children for a limited time.
To further amplify the campaign and bring Ralph Lauren’s loyal customers into the fold, the Company invites everyone to join the conversation, and style their favorite shirt or share a fun memory across social platforms by using the hashtag #MyPoloShirtStory and tagging @PoloRalphLauren. Fans, friends and followers will also be able to share their own personal story and unlock an exclusive experience through an official Snapchat lens. Audiences will be able to explore a 3D version of Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt in their Snapchat app world view, with the ability to interact with stories from those who have worn it, loved it and made it their own. The lens can be accessed via Ralph Lauren stores, social channels, and digital properties via a scannable Snapcode.
ABOUT RALPH LAUREN CORPORATION
Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE:RL) is a global leader in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products in five categories: apparel, footwear & accessories, home, fragrances and hospitality. For more than 50 years, Ralph Lauren has sought to inspire the dream of a better life through authenticity and timeless style. Its reputation and distinctive image have been consistently developed across an expanding number of products, brands and international markets. The Company’s brand names—which include Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Collection, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Polo Ralph Lauren, Double RL, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Polo Ralph Lauren Children and Chaps, among others—constitute one of the world’s most widely recognized families of consumer brands. For more information, go to corporate.ralphlauren.com.