New Ralph Lauren book celebrates polo’s 50th anniversary

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While the brand may have started with a tie, over the years Ralph Lauren and the polo shirt have become almost synonymous in American culture. Now, the New York-based fashion label celebrates its flagship product in a coffee table book published by Rizzoli International.

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“The polo shirt is to Ralph Lauren what Mickey Mouse is to Disney or the Statue of Liberty is to New York,” the book begins. “It’s the signature of the Ralph Lauren company founded more than five decades ago, a symbol that evokes not only a luxurious lifestyle, but also a chic casualness and ease that have become the cornerstone of American style. -same.”

The heavy, 544-page, 6.5-inch by 8.5-inch hardcover book features a foreword by Ralph Lauren as well as documentarian Ken Burns, and an afterword by David Lauren, vice president of Ralph Lauren Corp. . and son of the designer. .

“I wanted the shirt to be part of the life of the person who wore it,” writes Ralph Lauren. “I had no idea that after 50 years he 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 bottom of my heart and I hope that’s what affects the diversity of people who wear my polo shirt and all my clothes.

This book, which includes 400 color photographs, celebrates the jersey over the years through the use of historical images and the personal stories of celebrities, politicians, presidents, royals, d athletes and ordinary people. They include everyone from Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama to Paul Newman, Kanye West, Sean Combs and Gigi Hadid – all sporting the brand’s signature polo shirt. There’s a chapter on the Pony Polo logo itself, a symbol the company created in 1972, as well as sections on the Classic White Polo, Weathered Polo, Earth Polo, Earth’s sustainable product. business, as well as his appearance at the Olympics, the US Open and Wimbledon.

Dogs in polo shirts in Rizzoli’s new book ‘Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt’  - Credit: Courtesy of Ralph Lauren

Dogs in polo shirts in Rizzoli’s new book ‘Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt’ – Credit: Courtesy of Ralph Lauren

Courtesy of Ralph Lauren

American filmmaker Burns sums it up this way: “When you wear a polo shirt, you are instantly engaged in a deep irony between being unique, but also – because so many others in the world wear it – belonging.”

To promote the book, titled Ralph Lauren polo shirt, the company will offer a limited number of vintage and collectible designs featured in the book for purchase at select stores as well as on the Polo app. They come from the brand’s archive collection and have been checked to ensure their authenticity.

The company also offers The Upcyced Polo Shirt, a selection of pieces that have been hand-repaired by artisans at Los Angeles-based circular design platform Atelier & Repairs and given new life through the use an over-dyeing process to give each shirt an indigo hue and patched with vintage fabrics on the placket and gussets.

New options for ordering polo shirts will also be available through the company’s Custom Polo, Made to Order program.

Additionally, the company will open the Ralph Lauren Polo Shop Concept Store in Tokyo on the Ginza and in Berlin. The stores will feature the company’s polo shirts and include personalization stores for men, women and children.

Ralph Lauren polo shirt sells for $36.95 and is available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ralph Lauren, Target and other retailers.

This story originally aired on WWD.

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