The well-known HBCUs and famous fashion company announced their partnership to create a limited-edition collection that is inspired by these institutions’ history, culture, and traditions. The partnership is the first-ever creative collaboration that the brand has established with collegiate institutions.
Ralph Lauren will also release a film with the collection called “A Portrait of the American Dream.” The film will address the founding and significance of HBCUs specifically through the perspective of Morehouse and Spelman. The production will aim to portray the use of style as a mechanism for inspiration, self-empowerment, and strength.
For many in the HBCU community, the older designs weren’t really doing it for them. People on Twitter were quick to make jokes about the collection.
Spelman and Morehouse’s students were photographed with the clothes that were a part of the licensing agreement. The students had their photographs taken at some historic places on campus to try to recreate some of the iconic shots of students from as far back as the 1920s.
Morehouse President David Thomas and Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell spoke to the Washington Post about this historic collaboration with Ralph Lauren.
“Morehouse is an idea in the same way that America is an idea, which is that in this country, you can create Black male excellence at scale,” Thomas said. “Ralph Lauren is one of our cultural icons. And Morehouse is a cultural and, more importantly, an educational icon of what the country could be.”
“The beauty of what Ralph Lauren did with us: They made us part of this project,” Thomas stated. “They didn’t come in and appropriate culturally inspiring images of Black people and then go off and do something with it.”
Campbell said that she felt the collaboration gave the public a chance to see a part of the school’s history. “I thought it evoked an aspect of our history and heritage that we don’t talk about and we don’t see very often on the public stage,” said Campbell.
Not all the response has been negative. some scholars have taken to Twitter to applaud the collaboration.
The film is scheduled to premiere on March 28th on certain social media platforms. It will stay on Ralph Lauren’s website the following day.
The collection will be available in an exclusive presale for students, faculty, and alumni to purchase on March 28th, and open up to the public on March 29th.
Polo Ralph Lauren’s Limited-Edition Collection With Spelman & Morehouse College Generates Backlash was originally published on hellobeautiful.com