Polo Ralph Lauren collaborates with Morehouse College and Spelman College in a first-of-its-kind collection.
The Morehouse Collection cotton ball cap, “M” sweater, Cricket sweater and Cricket blazer, ralphlauren.com.
The Spelman Collection beret and white blazer, ralphlauren.com.
Polo Ralph Lauren (@poloralphlauren) has freshly debuted a limited-edition collection in partnership with HBCUs Morehouse College and Spelman College. This first-of-its-kind collaboration for the brand exemplifies a bold statement by including groups that have been historically marginalized. The designs are inspired by Morehouse and Spelman student fashions from the 1920s to 1950s, which present threads that embody the colleges’ legacy and acknowledge the influence their style has had on American fashion. “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,” says Mary Schmidt Campbell, president of Spelman College. The collection, designed by Morehouse and Spelman alumni at Ralph Lauren, includes outerwear, knits, tailored suits, dresses, footwear, accessories and more. “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,” shares Ralph Lauren, executive chairman and chief creative officer of Ralph Lauren Corporation. The line is one of many avenues through which the brand has provided a space for people of color to be represented. In 2020, Ralph Lauren made a commitment to being a proactive force that contributes to cultivating a society with racial equity. In 2021, Ralph Lauren Corporation Foundation pledged $2 million to support scholarships for Morehouse, Spelman and other HBCUs. It has since continued to be deliberate in direction, which led to an increase in opportunities within the company to develop, elevate and embrace Black talent and recognize their impact. “The Morehouse partnership with Ralph Lauren intelligently, creatively and boldly puts [intellectual discourse and cultural influence] on full display, reflecting the breadth of impact we have had in driving societal transformation throughout our history,” expresses David A. Thomas, PhD, president of Morehouse College. Intentional and exceptional in its approach, the brand delivered a sophisticated collection that recognizes the cultural and national significance of HBCUs on American fashion and culture.
Photography by: Nadine Ijewere/Polo Ralph Lauren