Polo Ralph Lauren’s New HBCU Capsule Collection Highlights Black’s Influence in Style Trends

Polo Ralph Lauren has teamed up with two top HBCUs to launch a capsule collection highlighting black history serving as trend setters.

Ralph Lauren collaborated with an all-black design team to capture their new collection which serves as an ode to varsity style from the 1920s to 1950s.

The collection was made in collaboration with Morehouse College and Spelman College and captured by creative directors, photographers, filmmakers and models comprised primarily of students from both HBCUs, WWD reports.

Pieces in the collection include Italian-designed tweed three-piece suits, boat neck sweaters sporting with an “M” for Morehouse, or a double-breasted linen blazer with a Spelman Crete. The sportswear features a “67” on the back in honor of the founding of Morehouse in 1867 and Ralph Lauren in 1967.

The collection looks like a page from an old Morehouse or Spelman yearbook, but serves as a reminder of the styles black students created when racism and segregation were the norm.

“It was really important to put this in history to show that this is not new”, James Jetter, Ralph Lauren, Director of Design and Special Projects, 2013 Morehouse College alumnus and creator of the capsule, said.

“A lot of this project was really about changing the ownership of how we think about clothing.”

“So who owns the three-piece suits?” Who owns cable cardigans? Who owns the circular skirt, for example? And while it’s generally and historically relegated to Ivy League schools, if you see a lot of this stock footage of [Morehouse and] Spelman, that really helped inform a lot about how we approached not just design, but also how we approached campaigns,” Jeter said.

The president of Spelman College, Dr. Marie Schmidt-Campbell applauded the collection for working to tell another missing part of black history through fashion.

“By sharing Spelman’s early life story, as evidenced by archival research, through the garments, the collection encourages conversations about the creative power of the black experience and how a personal aesthetic of fashion is intersects with the institutional values ​​of solidarity and connection,” she said. noted.

“The history of dress and style played a vital role in the late 1950s and 1960s in the civil rights movement. Students who have sat at lunch tables, or demonstrated in front of segregated department stores or marched in protests have always done so with a deliberate and planned awareness of their attire.

Comments are closed.