Since its inception in 1972, the Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt has been one of the brand’s most prominent and celebrated products. As a part of the golden jubilee celebrations, Rizzoli International is publishing ‘The Polo Shirt Book’, a 544-page compendium tracing the journey of this icon.
Look around you, the Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt is a ubiquitous presence. From gentleman’s clubs to your favourite star and possibly your own closet, the endearing wardrobe classic is one that’s hard to miss. The book traces the cultural impact of this 50-year-old style that’s remained largely unchanged yet relevant and has been worn by everyone from royalty to rappers.
“The Polo shirt is to Ralph Lauren what Mickey Mouse is to Disney or the Empire State Building is to New York City,” states the book about this iconic product. Whether worn with the collar popped up, open and untucked, or dressed up under a suit jacket, the Polo embodies the optimism of American style. For over five decades, the Polo shirt has journeyed everywhere, creating memories for all who have made it part of their lives. It became not only a canvas for Lauren’s artistry, but a backdrop and inspiration for many dreams, hopes, and ambitions for people all over the world.
One of the greatest ironies about the Polo Shirt is that the American legendary designer, Ralph Lauren had never attended a single polo game when he designed this creation. Yet this half-sleeve style which can be worn buttoned up/down, tucked in/out continued to become a staple for polo players all over the world. “It was never about a shirt, but a way of living,” famously said Ralph Lauren whose motif of a polo player atop a steed become an emblem of classic style.
The beautifully curated book curated by Rizzoli International includes archival photography, an introduction by Ralph Lauren, and an afterword by David Lauren. It depicts the casual chicness of a Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt that became a symbol of American style.
As a part of the golden jubilee celebrations, many of the vintage collectibles from the book are made available to the public. Also on offer is The Upcycled Polo Shirt, a limited-edition collection that has been hand-repaired by artisans from the Los Angeles-based circular design platform, Atelier & Repairs, each Polo is sourced from North America, and given a second life through a unique over-dyeing process that gives each shirt its vibrant true indigo hue and patched with vintage fabrics on the placket and at the gussets. Plus, a customisation programme that allows you to make the icon your own by picking your solids, stripes, or colour-blocked designs. The various facets are all reflective of the ever-evolving journey of the Polo Shirt.
(All Images: Ralph Lauren)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India