Style

Polo Ralph Lauren | Inside its iconic polo

Few items have garnered such iconic status. We take a look at how the polo shirt – now synonymous with Polo Ralph Lauren – came to be.

“On one level, there’s an aspirational quality to having a polo player on it. On another level, it’s just a great shirt with lots of colours,” Ralph Lauren once said about his brand’s iconic polo shirt.

First introduced in 1972, the polo shirt epitomised the very core of the American brand. Worn by polo players, the shirt – as well as the brand name – is said to have been chosen because of the sports’ aspirational status. “To me, the polo player has elegance and imagination. It embodies sophisticated luxury and a timeless style,” said the designer.

It didn’t take long for the polo shirt to become an icon of American style.

To me, the polo player has elegance and imagination. It embodies sophisticated luxury and a timeless style.

Ralph Lauren

Polo Ralph Lauren

Over the next nearly 50 years, the piece has outlived most of fashion’s seasonal trends, evolving in both status and design. Now crafted from the brand’s signature cotton mesh – which boasts moisture-wicking performance and gets softer with every wear – it’s tailored for every fit, including classic, slim and tall. As for the identifying polo pony label? That feat of craftsmanship takes 982 stitches to create on every shirt.

In 2017, the shirt’s status was cemented when it featured in the landmark MoMA exhibition, ‘Items: Is Fashion Modern?’. Considered one of the most important items of clothing from the past several decades, it even entered into the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.

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“What I do has always come from the way people live. It’s honest and from the heart and hopefully that is what touches the diversity of people who wear the Polo,” says Ralph Lauren. “It was never about a shirt, but a way of living.”

Today, that way of living means a design for everyone, with 32 of the polo shirt’s rainbow shades available for men, women, children, infants and even dogs.

Discover the collection in the Polo Ralph Lauren boutique now.