Celebrating 50 years of the Iconic Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt
Defining timeless style since its debut in 1972
The game of polo dates back to the 6th century BC , but it was in the 19th century that the garment was introduced to the western world and today it is a prevalent style. Initially, Indian polo players wore thick, long-sleeve cotton shirts, but with collars that flipped upwards during matches, it made them uncomfortable, hence they attached buttons to make the collars feel less suffocating, birthing the polo shirt. While many brands introduced the polo shirt, Ralph lauren has become an iconic brand known for its polo shirts.
A style statement in itself, the polo shirt transformed the lives of many and the shirt that was initially referred to as a rider shirt today is a wardrobe staple. 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.
Iconic. Classy.Timeless, nothing defines the Polo shirt better. Being an integral part of the luxury brand Ralph Lauren, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic style. When it comes to polo shirts, Ralph Lauren's shirt is one of the most iconic. Not only did the brand give an extremely luxe quotient to the wardrobe staple, but also made it a style statement.
“It was never about a shirt, but a way of living.” - Ralph Lauren
Over the last five decade it has served as a personal canvas for self-expression since first making its debut in 1972. To reintroduce the style to a new generation of consumers the brand has published a book that documents the iconic style and cultural impact of the Polo Shirt as a metaphor for the optimism and confidence that the American style has inspired for over half a century. 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.”
As seen through historic imagery and told through the personal stories of celebrities, politicians and presidents, royals, world-class athletes, as well as loyal fans, 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 striped Polo to the US Olympic, US Open, and Wimbledon Championship collaborations, this catalogue celebrates the full spectrum of the Polo, making it a collector’s dream.
What's more? 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. The brand has also introduced Upcycled Polo Shirt a- limited-edition collection of Polo Shirts that have been hand-repaired by artisans.
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 colour-blocked designs for the body, collar and sleeves, as well as the ability to have lettering and symbols knit into each cuff.
The Company will open The Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt Shop Concept Store in both Berlin
(Opening May 18th) and Ginza (Open Now) that 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.
While it has been a defining and timeless style since its debut in 1972, the polo shirt will continue to hold the same power in future and remains a PoloRalphLauren style icon.