Ralph Lauren celebrates the 50th anniversary of its iconic polo shirt
At the center of the campaign, Rizzoli International will publish Ralph Lauren’s polo shirt, which is a fascinating look at the history of the wardrobe classic. With beautiful photographs, an introduction by Ralph Lauren and an afterword by David Lauren, the book sheds light on the shirt itself. Embodying a quintessentially American chic casualness, the polo shirt is a cultural symbol, worn by everyone from movie stars and presidents to athletes and entertainers. As stated in 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.” 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. He became not only a
canvas for Lauren’s artistry, but a backdrop and inspiration for many dreams, hopes and ambitions for people around the world.
As Ralph Lauren, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Ralph Lauren Corporation,
states in the introduction, “I wanted the shirt to be part of the life of the person who wore it.
Little did I know that after fifty years he would become such a personal icon all over the world. What
I don’t always come from the way people live. It’s honest and from the bottom of my heart and I hope
is what affects the diversity of people who wear my Polo and all my clothes.
This 544-page collection 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 endures and continues forever
evolve in an innovative and sustainable way. Seen through historical imagery and told through the
personal stories of celebrities, politicians and presidents, royals, world-class athletes, as well as
ordinary people, the book presents various people who appropriated the Polo and
inspired others to follow suit along the way. From the classic white polo to the patina polo, from the Earth polo to the collaborations with the American Olympic Games, the US Open and the Wimbledon championship,
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 are instantly engaged in a deep irony between being unique, but also – because so many
others around the world wear it – their belonging.