Legendary brand Ralph Lauren has been supported by the Black community for many years, however, it found itself in hot water following the use of Black fraternity Phi Beta Sigma’s symbols on a pair of $334 chinos.
A petition had been started against the fashion designer on Change.org demanding that they stop selling the khakis that feature the Greek letters down the back leg.
In the petition, fraternity members expressed their outrage saying, “Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. DOES NOT belong on your jeans!!”
“We are a week away from the 106th anniversary of the founding of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and what is plastered all over social media? An ad for Polo Ralph Lauren Chino Graphique Droit with the letters that represent Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Greek letters on the back crease of said pants! Members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., an illustrious organization stared & shared in utter disbelief!”
After the outrage from Phi Beta Sigma went viral, a Ralph Lauren spokesperson reached out to Watch The Yard and gave a statement:
“The use of these symbols on our products was an oversight for which we deeply apologize. We are immediately taking action to remove the product from our sales channels. While we have a rigorous review process in place for all of our designs, this has prompted us to take another review of our protocols to help ensure that this does not happen again. As an American brand with more than 50 years of heritage, Ralph Lauren is inspired by many facets of American culture. As part of this, we are firmly committed to the respectful and appropriate use of all cultural icons and insignias.”
The Ralph Lauren brand has since removed the chinos from all sales channels, and they have reached out to the fraternity. We’re glad they made it right!
(Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)