It was on a recent trip to Japan that David Lauren, heir to the Ralph Lauren fashion empire, realized the enormity of the vintage rag trade. The eye opening excursion also marked the start of a concept and led to the creation of Ralph Lauren Vintage. Part of online community, part virtual design archive, and part web shop, Ralph Lauren Vintage lets the most ardent Ralph Lauren fans to showcase their collection while educating novice on how to spot rare gems. It also formulated the Bring It Back program, where anyone can vote for a particular Ralph Lauren design of the past, so it can be under consideration to be reproduce. The program’s inaugural project is also one of Ralph Lauren’s most celebrated design, the Polo Bear Sweater.
The first Polo Bear came about quite innocently during the early years of Polo Ralph Lauren. In searching for that perfect birthday present for Ralph Lauren himself, staff members found a Steiff teddy bear and handmade a miniature Polo outfit to go with it. So perfect was the gift in fact that it became an annual tradition between Lauren and his employees. Some years and Polo Bears later, Lauren added the Polo Bear graphic onto a sweater and the very first Polo Bear Sweater made its debut in 1991.
A total of the four vintage designs are available for vote, with Ralph Lauren bring back the most popular one after all the votes are counted. You can place your votes here but remember the process ends on December 31st.