Ralph Lauren celebrates 50 years of the Polo Shirt

The iconic garment is celebrated through a new collector’s book titled ‘Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt’

May 9, 2022: If there is one garment that spells comfort with a dose of style, it’s Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt. Celebrating 50 years of this iconic product born in 1972, Ralph Lauren has announced ‘Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt’, a new coffee table book published by Rizzoli International. 

Polo 50 years history

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. 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. 

The campaign accompanying the book reflects on the incredible cultural impact that the Polo Shirt has had over the past five decades, and reintroduces 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.

Ralph lauren Polo 50 years history

With beautiful photography, an introduction by Ralph Lauren, and an afterword by David Lauren, the new book shines the spotlight on the shirt, itself. The first chapter states, “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. It became not only a canvas for the designer’s artistry, but a backdrop and inspiration for many dreams, hopes, and ambitions for people all over the world.

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.”

RL Polo for pups

This 544-page compendium documents the iconic style and influential impact of the Polo Shirt. 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.

In line with the brand’s sustainability goals, 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 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.

Caro Daur earth Polo

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 (May 18) and Ginza (open now). The shops focus 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.

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