Photo via Blair Getz Mezibov/Ralph Lauren
SNEAKERS & FASHION

Ralph Lauren Celebrates New York With 2021 US Open Collection

The iconic fashion brand celebrates 16 years with the US Open with a one-of-a-kind campaign celebrating the re-opening of New York City.

The worlds of fashion and tennis will collide in Flushing Meadows starting Monday, Aug. 30. And for the first time since 2019, a full-capacity crowd will finally be welcomed back to the US Open.

To celebrate, tournament organizers have teamed up with longtime sponsor Ralph Lauren to launch a multifaceted campaign meant to show off the brand’s new clothing and apparel collection and further engage fans with unique experiences spanning from the hardcourts of Queens to retail locations across New York City.

As the company announced this week, its US Open campaign aims to highlight “a unique and distinctly New York fashion expression,” using imagery shot at the iconic Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to herald a triumphant return after a 2020 tournament played behind closed doors.

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The concept behind the campaign, per an official company release, is to bring together “a group of friends for a day at the US Open, celebrating a style and attitude only found in New York.”

The collection features US Open ball people mingling with models while wearing fresh, modern looks from the official Polo Ralph Lauren Official US Open Collection, as well as the Spring, Summer, and Fall ’21 collections.

This latest partnership between Ralph Lauren and the US Open represents yet another chapter in a storied collaboration of New York originals. As the official outfitter of the US Open Tennis Championships since 2005,  the clothing brand supplies uniforms for all on-court officials and ball persons, as well as a US Open collection of men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel and accessories.  

“Ralph Lauren’s partnership with the US Open has always been about creating an authentic connection between our brand and consumers through an area of passion,” said David Lauren, Chief Branding and Innovation Officer & Vice Chairman of the Board, Ralph Lauren Corporation.

In addition to the Open, the brand’s sporting partnership portfolio includes:

  • US Olympic and  Paralympic Teams
  • The Championships, Wimbledon
  • The Australian Open
  • The PGA of America and the PGA Championship
  • The US Ryder Cup team;
  • The US Open Golf  Championship
  • The American Junior Golf Association;
  • G2 E-Sports

“We have an incredibly prestigious portfolio of global sports properties, each with its own personality that aligns with different parts of the Polo brand, and the US Open has a unique, electric energy,” Lauren said.

The new collection also features a fun line-up of off-the-court styles — graphic and playful looks with a fresh, primary color palette of red, blue, yellow, and green. And as a nod to the company’s commitment to sustainability, the official uniforms are made from yarn derived from recycled plastic bottles.

But not just any plastic bottles.

The brand collected 454 lbs. of plastic Wilson tennis ball cans from the 2020 tournament, processed them through a unique manufacturing process, and turned it into high-quality yarn.

The company will once again partner with Wilson to collect plastic tennis ball cans at this year’s tournament and turn them into fabric used in future apparel lines.

Inside the tournament venue, fans will have access to a comprehensive customization program that allows them to purchase Polo apparel and accessories, such as shirts, water bottles, and totes, and personalize them on site.

Outside the walls of the National Tennis Center, Ralph Lauren retail locations on Madison Avenue and Prince Street in Manhattan will live-stream tennis matches on screens displayed in the store’s windows, and customers will be invited to watch while enjoying a beverage from Ralph’s Coffee.

“Over the years, we’ve launched really innovative programs at the tournament that bring the brand to life in new ways,” Lauren said, “from being the first brand to pilot a consumer-facing QR code program to launching sustainable uniforms made of recycled plastic bottles.”

For years, this has been a partnership built on passion, but in 2021, there’s an additional theme in play: rebirth.

And the energy that animates it ultimately has one source — the energy, creativity, and flair of the only city the US Open has ever called home.

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