Why Ralph Lauren puts teddy bears on its sweaters
The Polo Ralph Lauren teddy bears are one of the least likely symbols of the elite. For a brand that should exude cool and sophistication, they’re oddly cuddly. But there’s a reason Ralph made the call.
According to the company, the original teddy bear was a bear dressed up as a Ralph Lauren Western-wearing fashionista. It was a fun birthday present for the boss.
Ralph liked it enough that it became a company tradition to find him the distinctive Steiff bear and dress it up in different Ralph outfits. Actual business integration began when Ralph sold collectible bears dressed in Ralph Lauren clothes. It was successful enough that the company tried putting them on its clothes.
In 1991, the Polo Bear Sweater debuted. In addition to a full-sweater bear, the bear migrated to polo shirts and other branded apparel. Fans will be happy to note that the company recently announced it would reissue the polo bear sweater, reaffirming the connection between the luxury brand and fluffy dolls.