Fact Check

Is Ralph Lauren Selling N****** Brown Shirts?

Is Ralph Lauren clothiers offering 'nigger brown' shirts for sale?

Published Aug 18, 2014

Claim:   Ralph Lauren clothiers is offering "nigger brown" shirts for sale.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, August 2014]

A friend directed me to a web site: ralph-lauren.us.com for a ralph lauren outlet store to a mens brown shirt in the color "nigger
brown". I thought he was crazy, but sure enough there it was. Surely this is not an official Ralph Lauren website is it? I can't believe they would do such a thing or offer such a color. This has to be a cruel hoax.


Origins:   In August 2014 social media users began circulating a link to pages within the web site of Ralph Lauren clothiers which appeared to be offering for sale polo shirts described as being "Nigger Brown" in color:

However, the links did not point to the genuine Ralph Lauren web site at ralphlauren.com, but rather directed users to ralph-lauren.us.com, a Chinese-registered domain which is unconnected to the real Ralph Lauren company and hosts a counterfeit site.

An identical situation of a famous clothier being falsely connected with this same racial slur occurred in March 2012 when a Chinese-registered counterfeit Abercrombie & Fitch web site offered "nigger brown" pants for sale. A similar (and real) brouhaha also hit the Internet in 2007 when a Canadian retailer offered Chinese-made sofas for sale that, due to faulty translation software, were labeled as being "nigger brown" in color.

Last updated:   18 August 2014

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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