As the allure of historically Black colleges and universities continues to grow, Polo Ralph Lauren has taken note. The brand teamed up with Spelman College and Morehouse College — its first collab with collegiate institutions — for a limited-edition capsule collection heavily inspired by the fashionable legacies of both HBCUs.
The line includes tailored suits, dresses, cardigans, crewnecks, footwear and other pieces crafted by alumni from both colleges, and was specifically designed to resemble styles worn by students in the past.
“This collection expresses the spirited history, deep sense of community and legacy of timeless dressing at historically Black colleges and universities,” says Ralph Lauren, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Ralph Lauren Corporation in a press release. “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.”
To present the limited-edition capsule, Polo Ralph Lauren rolled out a new campaign, which includes information on the historical significance of HBCUs via the film A Portrait of the American Dream. Unlike previous marketing from the brand, this marks the first time they launched a campaign that solely features Black people.
The collaboration between the retailer, Morehouse and Spelman comes two years after the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation committed $2 million to funding scholarships for 12 HBCUs, including Morehouse and Spelman. Polo Ralph Lauren has also assisted students from both schools through the provision of internships, mentorship and jobs.
The Polo Ralph Lauren Exclusively for Morehouse and Spelman Colleges Collection drops on March 29. Those interested in digital purchases can go to RalphLauren.com, the Polo App or the Ralph Lauren App. The pieces will also be sold in select Ralph Lauren stores as well as in Morehouse College and Spelman College Follett campus bookstores.