Ralph Lauren Corporation is an American, publicly traded holding company headquartered in New York City. The company, through its subsidiaries, designs, markets and sells men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, accessories, fragrances and home furnishings to customers worldwide. Ralph Lauren Corporation began with the 1967 founding of the Polo Ralph Lauren company by American designer Ralph Lauren.
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Polo Ralph Lauren – the flagship brand of the company.
The origins of the RL Corporation began with men’s ties, Polo Ralph Lauren in 1967. Born in 1939 as Ralph Lifshitz (he later changed his name to Ralph Lauren) in The Bronx, New York, to Ashkenazi Jewish parents from the Soviet Union (Belarus), Lauren pursued a career in menswear and had gained background working for Datrian Riser. He received a $50,000 loan to realize his vision for men’s ties. By 1969, he had a boutique store within the Manhattan department store Bloomingdale’s. Around that same time, he released a line of suits for women that were tailored in a classic men’s style; and first used the Polo emblem on the cuff of the suit. In 1971, Polo Ralph Lauren launched its first women’s collection of apparel and the first stand-alone store was opened inBeverly Hills, California.
The company entered the European market, and went international, in 1981 with the opening of a store on New Bond Street in the West End of London, England.
The Polo Sport line was introduced in 1993. In 1997, the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange. By now, the company was structured to operate as an umbrella for its brands and other ventures and would be named the Ralph Lauren Corporation by the early-21st century. It was originally named Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, but in subsequent years the Polo in the name was dropped to reflect the company’s presence in other concepts beyond the Polo line. The original Polo line remained as the flagship brand of the company. Ralph Lauren Corporation also manages several other brands, including Ralph Lauren Black Label, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Ralph Lauren Blue Label, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Club Monaco, and Chaps.
The company launched its official web site, and online shop in 2000 as polo.com by RL Media (a cooperation between Ralph Lauren and NBC). It introduced a more youthful line, Rugby Ralph Lauren, in 2004.
August 7, 2013, the company reported a drop in its fiscal first-quarter profit, despite higher revenue.
By 2007, Ralph Lauren had over 35 boutiques in the United States and other international locations in London, Milan, Tokyo, and Moscow. Also in that year, Ralph Lauren Corporation acquired the NBC share of RL Media and the web site was relaunched as ralphlauren.com. By then, company revenue reached US$4.2 billion. In 2010, a Ralph Lauren store opened in Paris.
As of September 2013, the organization has announced changing of its leadership team and the creation of the Office of the Chairman, which will be led by Ralph Lauren. On 19 September 2013, the company announnced that Jackwyn L. Nemerov will replace Roger N. Farah as the president and chief operations officer.
In February 2014, Denise Incandela, former President of Saks Fifth Avenue Direct, joined Ralph Lauren Corporation as president of global digital and global e-commerce.Later that year Valérie Hermann joined Ralph Lauren Corporation as the lead in the luxury division.
Wayne Meichner, president and chief operating officer of Ralph left the company.
Ralph Lauren Corporation produces clothing, accessories, footwear, fragrances, and furniture all marketed under its portfolio of various brands.
- Men’s brands: Polo Ralph Lauren, Black Label, Purple Label, Lauren Ralph Lauren, RLX (launched in 2008), RRL, Denim & Supply, also Big & Tall, Golf sportswear (launched in 1998), and Tennis sportswear.
- Women’s brands: Collection, Black Label, Polo Ralph Lauren, RLX (launched in 2008), Lauren Ralph Lauren, Denim & Supply and Golf and Tennis sportswear.
- Ralph Lauren Childrenswear
- Baby Ralph Lauren
- Ralph Lauren Home: Bedding and bath textiles and other home accessories.
- Ralph Lauren Paints: Home interior paints and paint accessories.
- Denim & Supply
Subsidiary fashion brands of Ralph Lauren Corporation:
- Club Monaco
- American Living
- Polo Sport
- Polo Denim
- Ralph Lauren Jeans Co.
- Blue Label (Men’s and Women’s)
- Rugby Ralph Lauren
To gain better control of the various brands Ralph Lauren has bought back in recent years many licenses granted in previous years. The company claims that all Ralph Lauren products, whether in-house produced or licensed, have been designed by Mr. Lauren and/or his design staff. In 2005, Impact-21 was the Ralph Lauren ready-to-wear license holder in Japan with retail value of €240 million. As of 2009, product licensing partners for the U.S. market include L’Oreal (perfume and cosmetics), Peerless, Inc. (Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Ralph, Chaps and American Living tailored menswear), Warnaco Group (Chaps sportswear), HanesBrands (men’s Ralph Lauren underwear) and Luxottica Group (eyewear). All of the ‘home’ products in the various Ralph Lauren lines are produced by licensing partners. Internationally, entire regions have been provided with the right to sell Ralph Lauren merchandise and operate branded stores: Australia/New Zealand (Oroton Group), Central America (PRL Enterprises), Korea (Doosan Corporation) and Hong Kong / Southeast Asia (Dickson Concepts). All domestic Ralph Lauren stores are operated by Ralph Lauren. Internationally, some RL stores are operated by Ralph Lauren, about 90 are operated by licensing partners.
As of April 2010, the Ralph Lauren Corporation operated a total of 179 full-price stores, 171 factory stores, and 281 “concessions-based shop-within-shops” – a total of 631 locations worldwide.The figure reflects retail operations for all of the company’s brands across various locations throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Oceania.
Ralph Lauren operates its representative flagship stores in New York City on Madison Avenue – for menswear in the former Rhinelander Mansion, and for womenswear and home in another structure, across the street, which opened in 2011. The company also manages flagships, for retailing Ralph Lauren collections, in Chicago, Greenwich (USA), London, Milan, Tokyo, Moscow, and Paris.
- In 2006, Polo Ralph Lauren became the first official outfitter of Wimbledon, redesigning the outfits for ball boys and girls, line and court judges. The Wimbledon logo was adapted for this purpose. Ralph Lauren’s Polo brand and style was used and a range of clothing for men and women was launched on June 26.
- In 2005, Polo Ralph Lauren and the USTA signed a four year partnership making Polo the official apparel sponsor of the US Open throughout 2008. All ball boys and girls, and on-court officials, were dressed in specially designed Ralph Lauren apparel.
- The company also sponsors US professional golfers Webb Simpson, Tom Watson, Jonathan Byrd, Davis Love III and Luke Donald; as well as LPGA golfer Morgan Pressel.
- U.S. Olympic Team
- In April 2008, Polo Ralph Lauren won the U.S. Olympic contract to outfit the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team after Roots Canada announced April 7, 2008, it would withdraw as the official clothing supplier for the organization.
In July 2009, Ralph Lauren and the U.S. Olympic team announced they would continue their partnership for the 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics.
The 2012 US Olympic team uniforms for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics were designed by Ralph Lauren. The uniforms were manufactured in China, setting off a bipartisan backlash from the United States Congress protesting American manufacturing not being showcased in America’s greatest athletes. On July 13, 2012, six Democratic U.S. Senators announced they had co-sponsored legislation to require the 2012 U.S. Olympic team to wear American-made uniforms. The co-sponsors of the “Team USA Made In America Act of 2012” are: Senators Robert Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg both of New Jersey, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania,Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
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