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Successful Partnership: Ralph Lauren Collaboration with HBCUs Spelman and Morehouse Sold Out In Less Than a Day

American fashion brand Polo Ralph Lauren launched a new capsule inspired by two prestigious and historic Black colleges. The release was unprecedented as thousands of alumni, students and supporters flooded the website for pre-orders and lined up outside stores to purchase the limited-edition apparel. 

Lines outside of Ralph Lauren Store in Washington D.C. Personal Pic Courtesy of Adria Jones

Weeks after the announcement was made public, Spelman College and Morehouse College sent graduates from their schools a pre-sale link for an early chance at buying something from the collection, but within a half-hour, online shoppers were stuck with empty baskets, prompting an early- morning dash to the brick-and-mortar Ralph Lauren stores in major markets such as New York, Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles.

The brand reportedly underestimated the popularity of the collection and the spending power of the Spelhouse family.

Adria Jones, C ’95, arrived before opening at the Washington D.C., store on Tuesday, March 29, the day the collection dropped, only to find a line down the street. 

“People showed up like it was a sneaker release at 5:30 in the morning,” she said. “And it’s cold out here.”

She added, “A Spelmanite was the first person in line and said that there were only like 15 things and no jackets left.”

Jones, who is married to a Morehouse man and has a brother who also attended the school, said all kinds of confusion swirled around the release, including rumors that some people received the link for pre-sales before the week of sales and that one school received the link earlier than the other.

Read full story at Atlanta Black Star here.

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