Explore the history of the Ralph Lauren POLO Bear which has now been introduced into the POLO Golf collection for this season.
Ralph Lauren POLO Bear - History
What is the Ralph Lauren POLO Bear logo and what's the story behind it?
Well, for those that don't know, the POLO Bear was first introduced way back in 1991 - but the story begins a little bit before then.
According to the Ralph Lauren website, it all started because of Ralph Lauren's own brother - Jerry Lauren (also creative director of men's design at the brand). He is the one who is a "passionate collector of Steiff bears" with a collection of between 30 and 40 of the stuffed toys - six of which claim residency on his bed.
Latest POLO Bear Polo Styles
- SaleRalph Lauren POLO Golf Shirt - Bear Logo - French Navy SS23Was $111.30 As low as $111.30
- SaleRalph Lauren POLO Golf Shirt - Bear Logo - Pure White SS23Was $111.30 As low as $111.30
- SaleRalph Lauren POLO Golf Jumper - Bear Logo Crew - French Navy SS23Was $125.30 As low as $125.30
- SaleRalph Lauren POLO Golf Jumper - Bear Logo Crew - Andover Htr SS23Was $125.30 As low as $125.30
This prompted Jerry's colleagues - the employees of Ralph Lauren - to gift him with another bear for his birthday. This time, it was smartly dressed to resemble Jerry Lauren - complete with a shirt, tie and cable knit sweater. At the same time, a Western inspired Steiff bear was also gifted to Ralph Lauren himself.
Touched by the gesture, the Western bear's proud new owner was so enamoured by the gift that he sourced 200 more of them from the German toymakers. They were each dressed in bespoke teddy-bear-sized Ralph Lauren clothing and sold in the flagship Ralph Lauren store, located in Madison Square Garden.
They proved so popular that all 200 of them sold out within the first weekend of sales. Instantaneously, the POLO Bear - first marketed as the "Preppy Bear" - became a cult icon in the world of menswear.
Over the years, the Ralph Lauren POLO Bear has taken on many different guises - from sporting activities to martini sipping like 007 at Casino Royale. In truth, there are WAY too many to list; though it could be a fun project for a rainy day...
The very first golf-specific versions were launched back in 2019 and depicted Justin Thomas during the Ryder Cup (outfitted by Ralph Lauren of course) - while another version featured JT wearing one of his most iconic Ralph Lauren "shirt & tie" outfits from the Open Championship in 2017.
The most recent version features the POLO Bear dressed to the nines once again - this time wearing a smart RL blazer in "French Navy" with a bright yellow pair of RL chinos to boot.
This newest version of the golfing POLO Bear is now available in two colours, while matching cap & sweater options are now available to shop online at Golfposer as well.
With the popularity of the Ralph Lauren POLO Bear in the broader sense, it's really no surprise to see the new golf versions of the POLO Bear proving just as desirable and perhaps even more collectible.