Ralph Lauren celebrates 50 years of its polo shirt with a new book

Since its creation in 1972, the Ralph Lauren polo shirt has been one of the brand’s most important and famous products.

As part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations, Rizzoli International is publishing “The Polo Shirt Book”, a 544-page compendium retracing the journey of this icon. Look around you, the Ralph Lauren polo shirt is an omnipresent presence.

From gentleman’s clubs to your favorite star and perhaps your own wardrobe, the endearing wardrobe classic is hard to miss. The book traces the cultural impact of this 50-year-old style that has remained largely unchanged but relevant and has been worn by everyone from royalty to rappers.

“The polo shirt is to Ralph Lauren what Mickey Mouse is to Disney or the Empire State Building is to New York City,” says the book about this iconic product. Whether worn with the collar up, open and scooped, or dressed up under a suit jacket, the Polo embodies the optimism of American style. For more than five decades, the polo shirt has traveled everywhere, creating memories for all who have made it part of their lives. It became not only a canvas for Lauren’s art, but a backdrop and inspiration for many dreams, hopes and ambitions for people around the world.

One of the greatest ironies about the polo shirt is that legendary American designer Ralph Lauren had never attended a single polo match when he designed this creation. Yet this half-sleeve style that can be worn buttoned up/down, tucked in/out has become a staple for polo players everywhere. “It was never about a shirt, it was about a way of life,” said Ralph Lauren, whose motif of a polo player atop a steed has become an icon of classic style.

The beautifully curated book by Rizzoli International includes archival photographs, an introduction by Ralph Lauren and an afterword by David Lauren. It represents the casual chic of a Ralph Lauren polo shirt that has become a symbol of American style.

As part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations, many vintage collectibles from the book are being made available to the public. Also on offer is the upcycled polo shirt, a limited edition collection that has been hand-repaired by artisans at Los Angeles-based circular design platform Atelier & Repairs, each polo shirt is sourced from North America and received a second life thanks to a unique over-dyeing process that gives each shirt its vibrant indigo hue and patched with vintage fabrics on the placket and gussets. Plus, a personalization program that lets you personalize the icon by choosing your plain, striped, or color-contrasted designs. The different facets all reflect the ever-changing journey of polo.

Get the book here

(All images: Ralph Lauren)

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India

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