Ralph Lauren Lends Support for Mural Designed by New York City Teen

The fashion designer graduated from New York's DeWitt High School in 1957.

Ralph Lauren. Photo: Courtesy of Patrick McMullan.

On March 15, students at upper Manhattan’s High School for Media and Communications got a treat as fashion designed Ralph Lauren sent a team of staffers to assist with painting the student-designed work of art.

The project was facilitated by Citizens Committee for New York City, a nonprofit organization that links community and neighborhood groups with corporate volunteers. A representative at the non-profit told artnet News that the organization supplied materials to the Washington Heights high school for the Lauren-assisted mural, among other resources.

According to DNAinfo, the mural’s design, which was conceived by high school student Austin Peña and art teacher Edwin Montalvo, was painted on the building’s first floor. “It’s a mural in appreciation of the arts and the impact the arts have on our students’ lives,” assistant principal Emel Topbas-Mejia told the site.

The new Lauren collaboration belongs to a series of events called “Love Your Block that provides small grants from New York City’s Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Sanitation for neighborhood improvement.

The fashion designer graduated from DeWitt High School in 1957 and went on to study at the City University of New York’s Baruch College.

It’s not the first high-profile mural New York city teens have been given the opportunity to work on of late. When real estate mogul and art collector Aby Rosen launched his new Soho art hotel, he tapped Jeff Koons and art nonprofit Groundswell to guide teens in the creation of a mural on the facade.

UPDATE: A previous version of this story reported that Lauren himself was on hand at the school. A statement from Ralph Lauren’s online communications team clarified, “Ralph Lauren Corporation was in fact represented at the event in a volunteer capacity, however, Mr. Lauren was not present.”

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