As life always seems to go, there is a point in when you’ve accomplished a lot, thus it is time to take a step down and enjoy life. At the age of 75, Ralph Lauren has decided to step down as CEO from his mega-brand Ralph Lauren. This continuing trend amongst many major brands think: Galliano now over Marigela, or Calvin Klein stepping down circa 2002 from his brand. Is reminisced of an era in fashion where brand invention was ripe and ready for maturity. Other brands like Liz Claiborne, Dana Buchman and Tommy Hilfiger also grew out of a similar time, but even amongst this list Ralph Lauren stands out.
Luckily, RL hasn’t met the demise of its brand to solely a section of a department store like Liz Claiborne and Dana Buchman. Nor has it taken a punch to its relevance as a brand like Tommy Hilfiger (although Tommy Hilfiger is seeing a resurgence of his brand overseas). Ralph Lauren maintains its relevance and reputation as a heritage American brand instilled with its penchant for the upper-crust society. The brand Ralph Lauren still means something whether its luxury like its purple label or quality like the Polo Ralph Lauren line. Again not, many brands can say that… as most have fallen ill to the perils of over licensing,watering down their name and image.
Mr. Lauren was quoted as saying, “When they start designing things I can’t understand, I’ll quit.”
This makes me wonder what changes will a previous executive of a fast-fashion and moderately-price clothing store really bring to the table for an American Brand. Larsson did an excellent job at rejuvenating Old Navy. Old Navy is where almost ¾ of the entire GAP. Inc. profits have come from within the last couple of years. Will Mr. Larsson implore the changes he made at Old Navy at Ralph Lauren? And will it come at the sacrifice of the iconic Ralph Lauren brand? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see just like Ralph Lauren himself.