Ralph Lauren is no stranger to the Hamptons, with five stores on the East End and a vacation home in Montauk.
Polo Ralph Lauren has underscored the designer's commitment to the area by forming a partnership with the East Hampton Historical Society. As part of the association, Polo will underwrite the restoration of the society's Mulford Farm, the iconic farmstead dating from about 1680 that sits on a picturesque pond on James Lanes in East Hampton, N.Y.
Lauren "believes that with the continued evolution and development of East Hampton, the restoration of Mulford Farm offered a really unique opportunity to honor its history and preserve an important piece of its past for future generations to enjoy," said Charles Fagan, executive vice president of global retail brand development at Polo.
The designer has created a limited edition collection of East Hampton Historical Society-branded T-shirts and baseball caps. Inspired by archival art and photography supplied by the society, it features the whale as its key logo, referencing East Hampton's history as a hub for the whaling industry during the colonial era.
Women's and men's shirts retail for $49.50, children's shirts for $30 and hats for $30. All proceeds of sales benefit the restoration of Mulford Farm, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The collection launched on Friday at the company's Madison Avenue flagship, its Bleecker Street and SoHo stores, as well as the Ralph Lauren Country, Children and RRL stores in East Hampton. They will also be available at the 2008 East Hampton Antique Show, which will take place at Mulford Farm this weekend.
Fagan said the relationship will go beyond the restoration. "As the restoration evolves, we can also support the creation of future educational programs about the history of East Hampton, and family activities targeted to the local community and to visitors," said Fagan. Lauren has participated in similar projects in the past, including one with Nantucket, Mass.
"We are confident that this association, one that is expected to be fruitful and long term, will ensure a meaningful restoration of one of the nation's most revered historical farmsteads," said Richard Barons, executive director of the East Hampton Historical Society.
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