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Ralph Lauren announced today that the brand is expanding its partnership with Morehouse College and Spelman College, debuting a limited-edition collection inspired by the schools’ rich heritage and esteemed traditions.
The Polo Ralph Lauren Exclusively for Morehouse and Spelman Colleges Collection includes outerwear, knits, tailored suits, dresses, footwear, accessories, and more – references styles worn by Morehouse and Spelman students from the 1920s to 1950s.
The collection was designed by Morehouse and Spelman alumni at Ralph Lauren and is the first time the brand has produced a campaign with an all-Black cast from its photographer and creative directors, to cinematographers and talent. The campaign is also mostly comprised of students, faculty, and alumni from both institutions including James Jeter, Morehouse College class of 2013. Jeter penned a heartfelt post about his work on the campaign and his love for his alma mater.
“Mother Morehouse changed my life and continues to inspire me,” wrote Jeter. “I am proud to share her story and Spelman’s story with the world and authentically represent and pay homage to our legacy.”
“This collection expresses the spirited history, deep sense of community, and legacy of timeless dressing at historically Black colleges and universities,” said Ralph Lauren, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Ralph Lauren Corporation. “It’s so much more than a portrayal of a collegiate design sensibility. It’s about sharing a more complete and authentic portrait of American style and of the American dream – ensuring stories of Black life and experiences are embedded in the inspiration and aspiration of our brand.”
Additionally, Ralph Lauren noted that in 2020 it made a series of commitments to take action on racial equity and reexamine how the Company “portrays the American dream, mindful of its unique position in defining, interpreting, and depicting Americana worldwide.”
Aligned with these commitments, the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation pledged $2 million to support scholarships for students at Morehouse College, Spelman College, and 10 additional HBCUs through the United Negro College Fund in December 2021. The Company adds that it’s also “actively facilitating career pathways for Black talent” by deepening internship, recruitment, mentorship, and development programs.
These efforts include reserving dedicated internship offers for HBCU students and expanding talent acquisition relationships with HBCUs beyond the traditional recruiting season.
Polo Ralph Lauren’s capsule collection was shot by internationally acclaimed fashion photographer Nadine Ijewere.
The collection which ranges in price from $20 to $2,500 will be available to global consumers on March 29, 2022, on RalphLauren.com, the Polo App, the Ralph Lauren App, Morehouse College, and Spelman College Follett campus bookstores and in select Ralph Lauren stores while quantities last.
Additionally, Ralph Lauren’s accompanying film, “A Portrait of the American Dream,” releases on March 28 at 7:30pm ET on @RalphLauren.
Twitter Reacts To The Spelman & Morehouse Capsule Collection
Naturally, Twitter has LOTS of opinions when it comes to the collection and they’re weighing in.
Several HBCU grads are ecstatic and some are likening the collection to the “talented tenth.”
What do YOU think about The Polo Ralph Lauren Exclusively for Morehouse and Spelman Colleges Collection?
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