A Look Back At Hip-Hop’s Polo Ralph Lauren Obsession


The late ’80s explosion of Polo Ralph Lauren culture in New York city continues to influence generations of fashion fiends and hip-hop obsessed consumers from around the planet. First popularized by a group of young men from Brooklyn, who later formed the Lo Life crew, visionaires like Thirstin Howl 3rd created a cultural phenomenon that is now a staple in pop culture — and it all started from the garments made by a white dude from the Bronx.

Today, respected rap figures such as Just Blaze are most associated with Polo culture, when the rap Internet is your source, but the Lo Lifes are the ones who set the whole thing off. Even with the recent Snow Beach hysteria, the origins of the world’s ‘Lo obsession has a deep rooted, and oft hard to trace, history.

“To be honest, the SNOW BEACH was a never real sought after piece, when it dropped,” Thirstin Howl says about the immortalized Polo jacket (via DAY&ADREAM).

“Later in time, it became what it is. But, its initial entry into the game and all that being, you know, Rae helped popularize it and make it fly on TV. But it wasn’t a sought-after piece amongst a lot of us,” Thirstin continues. “It was just there. It’s like in the new millennium, in the late nineties when people really started becoming collectors and stuff, it became just a rare piece that was hard to get. I would even say that the SNOW BEACH has to be the highest priced vintage piece sold out there, going for 5 or 6 stacks.”

Complex recently released an all encompassing documentary about Polo culture. Watch below: