Image Credit: (Ralph Lauren)

Ralph Lauren Pays Tribute to Atlanta HBCUs With New Collection

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Ralph Lauren has partnered with Morehouse and Spelman Colleges to collaborate for the luxury apparel company.

The collegiate-inspired collection was designed by alumni of the schools and features an all-Black marketing campaign. The collection revives retro ensembles worn by students between the 1920s and 1950s.

Tweed blazers, vintage varsity knitted sweaters and more are available and items will set consumers back between $20-$200.

London-born fashion photographer Nadine Ijewere shot the campaign.

The brand is hailing the line as part of its” broader commitment to support HBCU students.”

“This collection expresses the spirited history, deep sense of community and legacy of timeless dressing at historically Black colleges and universities,” said Ralph Lauren, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Ralph Lauren Corporation.

“It’s so much more than a portrayal of a collegiate design sensibility. It’s about sharing a more complete and authentic portrait of American style and of the American dream – ensuring stories of Black life and experiences are embedded in the inspiration and aspiration of our brand.”

Ralph Lauren has a long history of collaborating Ivy League schools—with predominantly white colleges and universities (PWIs). The fashion brand was founded in 1967.

However, James Jeter, a design director with Ralph Lauren and Morehouse graduate, can be credited with helping Lauren understand the HBCUs’ history to ensure that the collection was not only authentic but well-researched.

“I knew nothing about it,” said Lauren, of the aesthetics of HBCUs, the “Divine Nine” Black fraternities and sororities.

“James told me,” Lauren told The Washington Post. “He brought in these books, because he went to Morehouse and said, ‘This exists.’ He felt that the world has always thought Ivy League [style] was only White people. This exists; the college exists; the taste levels existed. And we looked through some books and he showed me the school and I said, ‘This is beautiful. I love it.’

The collection has been well-received on social media.

Ralph Lauren will release an accompanying film, “A Portrait of the American Dream,” on March 28.

The collection will be available March 29 through Ralph Lauren digital channels, select Ralph Lauren stores and on the Morehouse and Spelman campuses.

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