Fashion

Ralph Lauren's New MLB Collab Brings Back a Smash-Hit Satin Jacket. Plus a Lot More

David Lauren, Ralph's son and the brand's chief innovation and branding officer, fills us in on how it came together.
IMAGE RALPH LAUREN
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When Ralph Lauren threw out the first pitch for the Yankees in 2018 to mark his brand's 50th anniversary, it was the culmination of a lifetime of fandom. Lauren, born and raised in the Bronx, had been watching legends like Joe DiMaggio wear the pinstripes since he was young. "As a kid, it was my whole life, being involved with the Yankees and being a fan," he said at the time.

But the pitch was only part of it. The brand also created a limited-edition capsule collection with the Yankees—including one smash-hit satin jacket—that sold out entirely by the time Lauren walked off the diamond, according to his son David Lauren, the company's chief innovation and branding officer, as well as vice chairman of the board. Today, Polo is releasing a new, expanded offering with the MLB featuring product devoted to the Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals, and, of course, Yankees. We caught up with David to find out how it came together—and who he's cheering for this season.

An array of Yankees gear from the Polo Ralph Lauren MLB collection.

Photo by Ralph Lauren.
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Why did Ralph Lauren decide to team up with the MLB for this collection?

My dad has always been a huge baseball fan; he loved playing the sport and watching it. He grew up in the golden age of baseball in the Bronx and idolized players like Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio. So, when the Yankees invited him to throw out their ceremonial first pitch in 2018 in honor of the company’s 50th anniversary, it re-awoke so much of his childhood. We had an opportunity to create a special limited-edition capsule collection for the Yankees, and from the time my dad went out to pitch to the time he walked back off the field, the capsule had already sold out in minutes. This sparked interest to make even more pieces. We talked with the MLB and decided we wanted to expand to more teams…and here we are.

Polo Ralph Lauren Yankees Jacket

Photo by Ralph Lauren.
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How did you approach the design? What did you want to change and what did you decide was best left as is?

For the first collection, we wanted to make sure it was more classic and very authentic to the teams and their colorways. We added some iconic Ralph Lauren colors to the items, like green and red to make each of the teams look really graphic. We also wanted to make sure the satin baseball jacket that my dad wore when he threw out the first pitch was replicated in the collection and offered to other teams across the nation. As we move into our fall and holiday collections, there will be even more iconography of Ralph Lauren as well as new, exciting fashion elements integrated.

Polo Ralph Lauren Dodgers Polo Shirt

Photo by Ralph Lauren.

How do you think a grown, stylish guy can work team gear—sometimes fraught, from a fashion perspective—into his day-to-day dressing?

I think style is about being authentic to who you are; expressing your individuality. The pieces from our collection can be worn in so many different ways—hoodies layered under outerwear, hats paired with a tailored look, and so forth. Unexpected is cool.

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Polo Ralph Lauren Cubs Sweatshirt

Photo by Ralph Lauren.

Who are you rooting for this season?

As a genuine baseball fan, I can’t wait for the moment to go back out to a baseball park and to feel the spirit of togetherness again regardless of who is playing, but having been born and raised in NY and growing up with my dad, I’ll cheer a little bit louder for the Yankees.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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