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Dara Douglas Gives Vision to Ralph Lauren Partnership With Alma Mater

March 2022

Dara Douglas Inspires Ralph Lauren Partnership With Spelman College

Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Dara Douglas, C'2003, is a proud alumna of Spelman College. While at Spelman, she was active in costuming for multiple drama productions as well as coronation, homecoming and spring formal productions.

As a sociology major, with a women’s studies minor, Douglas was and remains passionate about the intersection of feminism, womanism and fashion. From Spelman, her penchant for fashion and culture brought her to New York City, where she first attended Parsons, obtaining an associate’s degree in fashion design, and subsequently completing her studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), pursuing and completing a degree in museum studies with a concentration in textile conservation.

From FIT, Douglas joined Ralph Lauren in 2013, passionate about contributing to the fashion industry in a strategic and thoughtful way as manager of Inspirational Content at the Ralph Lauren Library. Her tenacity and innovative spirit led to her being promoted to director of Inspirational Content.

Douglas Takes Over Spelman's Instagram

Douglas has been involved in a diverse array of initiatives including the Cultural Awareness review board at Ralph Lauren that reviews product created across all of the brands for graphics and design details that could be considered culturally insensitive. She has been a leader in supporting different cultural heritage months at Ralph Lauren, helping to plan the Native American Heritage Month activities and working on the Black History Month activities. During the summer of 2019, Douglas was selected to participate in the Native Vision Sports Camp in New Mexico with other Ralph Lauren volunteers. The camp was started by the John Hopkins Medical School over twenty years ago to address health disparities among first nations peoples.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in social justice demonstrations and demands for the acknowledgement of systemic racism in America, Douglas and her colleague James Jeter took that moment to put a unique spin on fashion and history. Debuting in Spring 2022, the first ever collaboration between a premier American fashion designer, Ralph Lauren, and historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Spelman College and Morehouse College placed the lens of fashion on some of our nation’s most treasured institutions. An arbiter of American style and taste, Ralph Lauren continues to set the standard for fashion and Douglas, now promoted to the position of product and design lead, Design with Intent, is a leading lady in his organization.

Large Blue Quote LeftTo be a part of the development of this partnership is beyond what I could have ever imagined during my matriculation at Spelman. To have the opportunity to share with the world the academic excellence, beauty and strength that is Spelman is amazing, said Douglas."

Spelman Alumna Dara Douglas Helps Launch Ralph Lauren Partnership with AUCAs Mr. Lauren always says, this is about so much more than the clothes. We have a three-pronged approach in our partnership. First, donation. Ralph Lauren Foundation donated $2 Million to Spelman, Morehouse, and 10 other HBCUs.

Second, talent pipeline. We are elevating and specifically recruiting for our summer intern program from Spelman and Morehouse, and will be broadening to include other HBCUs in the future. Third, and perhaps most impactful, is the continued growth and conversation in telling the story about what it means to be an American, and how the history and legacy of Spelman and Morehouse Colleges have contributed to American society. #RLforMorehouseandSpelman

Douglas' Words of Wisdom to Spelman Sisters in Pursuit of Their Dreams

"Be bold in your ask of yourself. Don’t get caught up on someone else’s timeline for yourLarge Blue Quote Right dream. It can be lonely in pursuit of that dream, but don’t give up. Delay is not denial.

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