Since 2003, Ralph Lauren has allowed customers to personalize its polo shirts through its Create-Your-Own customization program. And starting May 18th, that à la carte approach is reaching new heights with the introduction of the made-to-order polo.
Just as the name implies, each polo will be created using an on-demand manufacturing model, eliminating the need to hold on to pre-made inventory. And rather than being cut-and-sewn from yards of fabric as would be the case in a typical production process, the MTO polo’s components are knit to size using flat knit technology that gives them a soft hand-feel while ensuring minimal fabric waste.
Thanks to this new tech, the polo’s six designs and 24 color variations are fair game for experimentation. Through Ralph Lauren’s website, customers can take the shirt’s look in hundreds of different directions by choosing to add color-blocking to the chest, upper body or sleeves and collar, which can also be tipped. Beyond color, clients can choose to add up to 16 characters of text to each shirt cuff, should they wish to emblazon it with the name of their preferred sports team, home city or a meaningful date.
Each MTO polo’s palette will be limited to two hues, but an extra pop of color can be introduced by way of its signature pony logo, which comes in 10 different tones. Anyone partial to the equestrian theme can also select a large pony logo, while minimalists are free to forgo the horse altogether. Customization options will continue to evolve in the coming months, when clients can expect to see iconic logos and graphics from the Ralph Lauren archives added to the digital design experience.
As color blocking continues to dominate spring and summer new arrivals and waste reduction remains top-of-mind for makers and consumers, the latest chapter in the polo shirt’s history feels tailor-made for right now.