Mar 18, 2022 - News

Polo Ralph Lauren collection salutes Morehouse and Spelman

Students sit in pews wearing fashion from the 1920-50s designed by Ralph Lauren to honor Morehouse and Spelman
Polo Ralph Lauren’s new collection is modeled by HBCU students. Photo: Kyra Taylor/Ralph Lauren

Polo Ralph Lauren will roll out a new collection celebrating two Atlanta HBCUs.

Why it matters: Morehouse College and Spelman College are part of the fabric of Atlanta. Alumni from both colleges include Pearl Cleage, Sen. Raphael Warnock, Stacey Abrams, Maynard Jackson, Tayari Jones, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Marian Wright Edelman and Spike Lee.

Details: Polo Ralph Lauren's collection featuring shoes, dresses, suits, knits and outerwear is a throwback to what Morehouse and Spelman students wore between the 1920s and 1950s, “capturing the colleges' deep history and honoring their contributions to American style,” the company said.

  • You can get this retro gear starting March 29 on Ralph Lauren’s website, its Polo and Ralph Lauren app, Spelman and Morehouse bookstores and in certain stores.
  • An accompanying movie, “A Portrait of the American Dream,” will explore the historic significance of HBCUs. It airs at 7:30pm March 28 on Ralph Lauren's social media pages.

What they're saying: Morehouse President David Thomas said in a news release the partnerships magnify how HBCUs have been at the forefront of intellectual and cultural influences.

  • “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,” Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell said.

Of note: The Ralph Lauren Corporation Foundation in Dec. 2021 donated $2 million to support scholarships for students at Morehouse, Spelman and several other HBCUs through the United Negro College Fund.

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