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Source: POLO RALPH LAUREN HOPE POLO / Polo Ralph Lauren

One of the world’s most beloved fashion houses is stepping up once again to give back to the people. Polo Ralph Lauren’s iconic cotton top has received a very thoughtful update.

Since its launch in 1972, the Polo shirt has become the signature wearable for RL. The brand wanted to extend an opportunity for self-expression to the Ralph Lauren community, as a way for individuals to share their thoughts, feelings, and creativity, and to have a platform to share it with the world.

The Polo Project: Design for Good was inspired by the hope and optimism that has been expressed and witnessed by people around the globe. Fans and artists were asked to submit an original design concept, inspired by the world today, that could ultimately be chosen as the actual design for a limited-edition Polo shirt.

The Polo App is proud to announce the winning design is now available in a limited-edition release—with 100% of the purchase price going to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO). Michelle Smith, an African American artist Illinois, is the lucky winner. Titled “Just Let Me Breathe,” it is inspired by her son.
She detailed the work in a formal press release. “The portrait is my son, and the piece represents hope, for me, in a number of ways. Hope for the safety of young people of color, to be treated as equals in this nation. Hope for the healing of a nation, of the world, from a disease that is rapidly taking loved ones—of all ages, ethnicities, religions—way too soon” she wrote. “Figuratively speaking, my son struggled to breathe in a racially charged society; now there is the physical mask needed to stay safe from the virus. The title of the piece is Just Let Me Breathe. There are days he feels as if he cannot win, but there is always hope waiting to move”.
To honor the shirt’s message, and as part of our pledge to address systemic racism and racial injustice, the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation will make a donation of $25,000 to the UNCF (United Negro College Fund).
You can purchase the polo shirt here.
Photo: Ralph Lauren