Shortly after the pants went on sale, Phi Beta Sigma, which was founded at Howard University, started a petition on change.org to get the brand to apologize publicly to the fraternity.
It worked. A spokesperson for Ralph Lauren issued this statement, ”The use of these symbols on our products was an oversight for which we deeply apologize. We are immediately taking action to remove the product from our sales channels. While we have a rigorous review process in place for all of our designs, this has prompted us to take another review of our protocols to help ensure that this does not happen again.“As an American brand with more than 50 years of heritage, Ralph Lauren is inspired by many facets of American culture. As part of this, we are firmly committed to respectful and appropriate use of all cultural icons and insignias.”
African American fraternities and sororities do not play when it comes to their Greek letters and colors. They see it as extremely disrespectful when people outside of the Greek family use their likenesses for personal gain. Lesson learned.