The Polo Ralph Lauren Exclusively for Morehouse and Spelman Colleges Collection is a first-of-its kind collaboration for the Company.
Celebrating the sartorial traditions and history of both schools with Ralph Lauren’s signature tailoring, The Collection seeks to honor the history of both schools and widen the aperture of Ralph Lauren’s storytelling — including the nature of life at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), a story untold in depictions of Ralph Lauren’s collegiate sensibility until today.
“This collection expresses the spirited history, deep sense of community and legacy of timeless dressing at historically Black colleges and universities,”
“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.”
Conceptualized and designed by Morehouse alumnus James Jeter, director of concept design & special projects for Ralph Lauren, in collaboration with Spelman graduate Dara Douglas, director of inspirational content for Ralph Lauren, the collection marks the first time the brand has partnered with an institute of higher learning.
Meet James Jeter, the man behind the Ralph Lauren collaboration with Morehouse & Spelman pic.twitter.com/kmb0ubSvVO— Talk2Pops (@talk2pops) March 16, 2022
“Spelman College’s culture is a powerful combination of both community engagement and confident self-invention. This collection celebrates the inventiveness of individual style, when it intersects boldly with institutional tradition, such as the choices on display in the wearing of white attire,”
“By sharing the early history of Spelman, as reflected in archival research, through clothing, the collection encourages conversations about the creative power of the Black experience and the ways in which a personal fashion aesthetic intersects with institutional values of solidarity and connection."
The collection 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.
Through compelling footage and dynamic digital and in-store presentations, consumers can experience the story of this collection beyond the product. Ralph Lauren’s accompanying film, “A Portrait of the American Dream,”
In 2020, Ralph Lauren 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 is 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.