The classic American brand, Polo Ralph Lauren, was launched in 1967. A staple in many consumers’ wardrobes, it was Polo Ralph Lauren that first popularized the iconic polo shirt. Despite its nearly sixty-year reign, Polo Ralph Lauren remains a popular brand with shoppers worldwide

At the end of 2023, we saw a surge in Gen Z interest in Polo Ralph Lauren as numerous A-list celebrities were photographed wearing the same Polo Ralph Lauren chino cap. Priced around $50, this attainable accessory allowed young adults to emulate the casual-chic looks of their favorite stars.

Want more information on trends within the apparel industry? Check out our Apparel & Fashion: An Industry Snapshot report for insights and brand data. 

This wardrobe basic, dubbed “fall’s hottest accessory” and “the hottest hat in Hollywood,” was photographed on Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lawrence, Kendall Jenner, Elsa Hosk, and Bella Hadid.

According to data from QuestBrand by The Harris Poll, Polo Ralph Lauren experienced a +6.5 boost in brand equity among Gen Z adults from Q3 to Q4 2023.

Brand equity measures the value consumers see in a brand at a particular moment in time. The score is an average of four components – brand familiarity, perceived quality, purchase consideration, and perceived momentum.

From Q3 to Q4, Polo Ralph Lauren’s quality (+13.0) score significantly increased among Gen Z adults, reflecting their growing positive perception of the brand. Polo Ralph Lauren’s consideration (+9.5) score also increased (see graph below), emphasizing young adults’ growing interest in purchasing from the brand.

Polo Ralph Lauren’s Purchase Consideration – Gen Z vs General Population of US Adults – 12 Week Moving Average

QuestBrand. 7/1/23-12/31/23. Base: Gen Z adults, 389. Base: General population of US adults, n=2,827. 

The popularity of Polo Ralph Lauren’s baseball caps also impacted the attributes that Gen Z ascribes to the brand.

Perhaps due to the cap’s affordable $50 price tag, the percentage of Gen Z adults who describe Polo Ralph Lauren as a “good value” jumped (+11.0) from Q3 (12.8) to Q4 (23.8).

Polo Ralph Lauren also experienced a significant lift in the percentage of Gen Zers who describe the brand as “fun” (+9.9).

Polo Emotional Attributes Among Gen Z Consumers – Q3 vs Q4 2023

QuestBrand. Base: Gen Z adults. Pre: 7/1/23-9/30/23, n=177. Post: 10/1/23-12/31/23, n=212. 

Beyond the excitement generated from this widely-photographed hat, Polo Ralph Lauren has recently embarked on several other campaigns that would appeal to Gen Zers. Gen Z is all about inclusivity. Yet, Polo Ralph Lauren’s more preppy, country club aesthetic could easily feel exclusive to certain groups. The brand has made a concerted effort over the past few years to make sure that their brand will feel accessible to all consumers.

This fall, Polo Ralph Lauren reached out to the skate community by partnering with Element Skateboards. This partnership brought a modern, youthful energy to the American brand. Additionally, as part of Polo Ralph Lauren’s “artist in residence” program, the brand launched Polo Ralph Lauren x Naiomi Glasses collection with indigenous designer, Naiomi Glasses. This series collaborates on collections with indigenous designers rather than simply taking inspiration from their traditional designs.

Together, the celebrity-approved cap, Element partnership, and collaboration with indigenous designers has helped Polo Ralph Lauren resonate with the Gen Z demographic


Catherine Ake

Senior Marketing and Content Strategist

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