Thursday, September 2, 2010

USPA vs Ralph Lauren Polo

I do want to start this piece, by first modestly declaring that I am absolutely brand-insensitive. I like to think that I am a sagacious buyer, who buys stuff that appears to fit most utility criterion, and that fits the budget. Luckily, my husband shares the same view, and so our family is almost never seen in anything that even remotely serves as a walking billboard for any company. Yet, every once in a blue moon, one comes to be in the neighborhood of stores which beckon you by their sheer variety of products and attractive price-tags. Thus this story.

Like any bargain hunter, I was obviously very excited when I was able to see, feel, pay for, and get home a 'Polo' winter jacket for my daughter, at an absolutely unexpected price at TJ Maxx. I had no reason to doubt anything----there was that guy-on-the-horse-with-a-polo-stick logo in the front of the jacket, and then after all I was in a store that officially boasted of being the inevitable outlet for authentic designer stuff, and whose TV Commercials too show a supply chain of designers who 'overproduce' their wares, then hand them down to TJ Maxx, who is then only too happy to share the loot with all of us--me included.

Once home, the toddler sees the jacket, and just as she claims everything in the household with 'ITS MIIIINE', (including birthdays----'her' birthday is now 'celebrated' three times a year---one time for each family member!), so it is with the jacket. It fits her well, and she looks as pretty as any two year old would (in anything). However, since this would have been the first ever 'Ralph Lauren (RL)' outfit I would have bought for my baby, somehow I was a little curious about my purchase. Having had a gnawing feeling somewhere in the back of my mind, few hours after the little one had first slipped her arm into the pink sleeve, it just dawned on me that nowhere in the jacket's labels had I actually come across the proper noun of RL. The jacket only honestly claimed to be a product of the 'US Polo Assn' (as in the USPA). It was then that I sat down to google and realised that even when I just started to write 'USPA vs Polo' in the search box, I only had to write the first two words of this search phrase, since the phrase in its entirety just popped up on its own----clearly this line of query being not so uncommon in the world. Yes, indeed I can see that many a simple souls like me, have come home to finally acknowledge that they were taken for a ride by a guy on the horse!

Here is the gist of the two reports, I read, and you can of course read them in detail at their original web-sites. US POLO Assn has NOTHING TO DO with RL POLO.

Are their logos same?
NO: every guy on a horse is NOT a knight-in-shining armor! Watch carefully, if you have merchandise with both logos to compare at home (I did not have any RL at hand----my husband's only shirt from that company, is God-knows where), and you will note that RL has one guy and one horse, unlike USPA's which has either two guys on one horse, or maybe two guys on two horses or some such combination.

(USPA on the left and RL on the right).

Verdict: Mister Lauren (by the way that is not his original last name), is aware of the gullibility of naive customers like me, and has tried (in vain) in the past to sue USPA for copyright/trademark infringement.

SO, let us just be aware ourselves of the fact that the two brands are different.

As for me, I am only too happy to learn that the 'little horsy' sitting on my daughter's pink heart is just another regular steed, not a stallion from a designer stable.

For more info on USPA vs RL POLO, check out:

(source for the picture:

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