Ralph Lauren extends its 50th-anniversary celebrations with a new venture initiated to easily serve up its extensive catalog to avid followers through a newly-hatched app.
Aptly titled POLO, the platform will not only allow the public at large to shop featured merchandise but will also spotlight insider access, rare archive pieces, curated collections, exclusive content and much more.
When asked to comment on the tech advancement, the high-end label’s Chief Innovation Officer, David Lauren, shared the following through a press release:
“We are thrilled to offer a new way to connect with our ultimate Polo fans, a diverse community of people who cross generations and sensibilities, but share a common love of the brand.
We have learned that we are over indexing with millennials and the POLO app pushes us further into the digital space, enabling us to attract a younger digital-savvy audience, while offering the best of Polo with unique content that will appeal to all brand enthusiasts.”
The Polo app, now available to download in North America, offers a behind-the-scenes look inside the world of Ralph Lauren, with editorial features such as Hi Design—the story of the iconic Polo Hi Tech logo—and The Boy from The Bronx, which details how baseball shaped the New York designer’s life and work.
Customers can preview Polo products—from brand-new pieces to vintage items that will be sold from the archives—on the app before they drop, and get notified the second that they do. There’s also an “Ask Ralph” function that encourages fans to submit questions to the designer (a number of which he’ll answer each week), and users can vote on product designs, such as the next Polo bear to make it onto a sweater. (Voting for the new bruin, which will make its knit debut next year, starts today and runs through September 30.)
More interactive features will roll out in the coming months, including a forum that will grant Ralph Lauren collectors all over the world the chance to connect and trade RL products with one another.
“There are so many people who have been buying, trading and selling Ralph Lauren, that we thought it would be interesting to create something that united this community, so that they could meet each other and learn about other collectors,” Lauren says. “If someone has a really cool sweater [that someone else wants], let them sell it to each other. It’s a whole trading ground.”
Profiles spotlighting noteworthy Ralph Lauren collectors will soon be available on the app, which will tout new articles and videos every week. “It’s an opportunity for people who love Ralph Lauren to see products early and get the first peek at them, but it’s also a site by, for, and about our fans,” Lauren says. “Very curated, limited-edition stuff that you can’t find online will be here.”
The new app, which will go global in 2019, is far from Ralph Lauren’s first digital foray. In 2008 the brand introduced QR scan technology to the U.S. fashion market, followed by 4D holographic fashion shows in 2014 and the first shoppable touchscreen store windows in 2015, the same year it debuted interactive fitting rooms with smart mirrors at its Fifth Avenue flagship. Past mobile innovations include an app that lets users monitor their heart rate and respiration while sporting pieces from the brand’s revolutionary wearable tech collection, and an immersive iPad app created to promote the Ralph Lauren Extreme line.
“I think what we have is a lifestyle that is much bigger than a single tie or shirt or pair of pants,” Lauren says. “It is a culture of people who want to live in the world of Ralph Lauren—who want to identify with its sensibility.”
The new Polo app arrives at the heels of Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary, which culminated in a lavish bash attended by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Robert De Niro, Bruce Springsteen, and Steven Spielberg.
“For my 50th anniversary, I wanted to create and share a runway experience that was deeply personal and a summation of the style I’ve always believed in: personal, authentic, and forever, in a place so quintessentially New York and so special to me—Central Park,” the designer said in a press release.
The A-list affair, which took place at Bethesda Terrace on September 7, showcased 50 Years of Reflection: a one-of-a-kind digital installation that displayed more than 400 images and videos from Ralph Lauren’s archives, including clips of RL fashion shows dating back to 1967, the year the brand was founded. (Backstage photos from the star-studded event can be found exclusively on the new app.)
Continuing the celebration, the designer has teamed up with the New York Yankees to create a limited-edition line, with pieces including an embroidered satin baseball jacket, a New Era “RL 50” baseball cap, a Wilson leather baseball glove (emblazoned with a “Ralph 50th” logo), and a Rawlings commemorative baseball.
Ralph Lauren, a lifelong fan of the Bronx Bombers, will be honored with a special home plate ceremony at the Yankees game against the Red Sox on Thursday, where he is set to throw the ceremonial first pitch—moments after which the Ralph Lauren x Yankees collection will become available for purchase exclusively on the new Polo app.
The App is available to download now via Apple iTunes. In related news, Polo Ralph Lauren recently announced a limited-edition upcycled capsule.
About Polo Ralph Lauren
Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE: RL) is a leader in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products in four categories: apparel, home, accessories and fragrances. For more than 50 years, Polo’s reputation and distinctive image have been consistently developed across an expanding number of products, brands and international markets. The Company’s brand names, which include Polo by Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Ralph Lauren Collection, Black Label, Blue Label, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, RRL, RLX, Rugby, Ralph Lauren Childrenswear, American Living, Chaps and Club Monaco, constitute one of the world’s most widely recognized families of consumer brands.
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