Open Letter to Ralph Lauren Corporation

In response to public criticism surrounding the US Olympic Team uniforms they designed being manufactured in China the Ralph Lauren Corporation issued the press release below.

Statement from Ralph Lauren Corporation

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jul. 13, 2012– For more than 45 years Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL) has built a brand that embodies the best of American quality and design rooted in the rich heritage of our country. We are honored to continue our longstanding relationship with the United States Olympic Committee in the 2014 Olympic Games by serving as an Official Outfitter of the US Olympic and Paralympic teams. Ralph Lauren promises to lead the conversation within our industry and our government to address the issue to increase manufacturing in the United States. We have committed to producing the Opening and Closing ceremony Team USA uniforms in the United States that will be worn for the 2014 Olympic Games.


Source: Ralph Lauren Corporation

Ralph Lauren
Ryan Lally,             212-318-7116
Amanda Schilt,             646-562-3218
Emily Feingold,             646-562-3238

In response to this release to our founder sent Mr. Ryan Lally listed above as a contact for the Ralph Lauren Corporation the email below.

Dear Mr. Lally,

I am writing you in regard to your press release dated July 13, 2012 in response to the national backlash over the Team USA Olympic uniforms you designed being manufactured in China. In that release Ralph Lauren committed, “to lead the conversation within our industry and our government to address the issue to increase manufacturing in the United States.” This is why I am reaching out to you.


I am part of a national initiative through a coalition of grass roots, non-profit business incubators to revitalize the fashion and apparel cluster in the United States. Ironically we had converged on Washington D.C. on May 10th of this year for our Third Annual State of Style Advocacy Day on the Hill.  You can find a video from the panel here: It was shot with an iPhone, so I apologize for the quality.


Our mission is to help passionate entrepreneurs gain access to training, resources and mentorship so they too can one day achieve the success that Ralph Lauren has from such humble beginnings. Mr. Lauren was a college drop-out, soldier, and Brooks Brothers salesman before starting his own company with the help of an investor. Now Ralph Lauren is a global brand that many of our members aspire to be. If you meant what you said we would love to have you join us in our mission of bringing back Made in USA apparel, and creating American jobs.




Steven Paul Matsumoto


Seattle Fashion Incubator

We will keep you updated as to what the Ralph Lauren Corporation’s response to our outreach was. If you support our mission to help small business grow and thrive in Seattle and revitalize Made in USA apparel we encourage you to send a note to Mr. Lally, or any of the representatives listed in their statement above to encourage their support of the National Coalition of Fashion Incubators.

Author: Steven Matsumoto

Steven Paul Matsumoto is the founder of Seattle Fashion Incubator, and an active member of the Seattle business community. Currently Mr. Matsumoto sits on Advisory Boards for the University of Washington Fashion Certificate Program, and the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle.

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