Ralph Lauren Corporation
|Predecessor||Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation|
|Founded||New York City, New York, United States (1967)|
|Headquarters||New York, New York, United States|
Number of employees
|19,000 (April 2010)|
Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE: RL) is a publicly traded, United States-based holding company headquartered in New York, NY. 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.
The origins of the RL Corporation lay with launch of men's ties, Polo Ralph Lauren in 1967. Born in 1939 as Ralph Lifshitz (he later became known as Ralph Lauren) in The Bronx, New York, to Ashkenazi Jewish parents from Eastern Europe (Belarus), Ralph Lauren pursued a career in menswear and had gained background working for Datrian Riser. He received a US$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 this was when the first Polo emblem was seen. The logo was on the cuff of the women's suit. In 1971, Polo Ralph Lauren launched its first women's collection of apparel and the first stand-alone store was opened in Beverly Hills, California.
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's official web site, and online shop, was launched in 2000 as polo.com by RL Media (a cooperation between Ralph Lauren and NBC). A more youthful line – Rugby Ralph Lauren – was introduced in 2004.
On June 10, 2005, Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. reported a drop in its fiscal fourth-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[update], 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.
In February 2014, 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.
- Mens brands: Polo Ralph Lauren, Black Label, Purple Label, Lauren Ralph Lauren, RLX (launched in 2008), RRL, Denim & Supply; and there is also Big & Tall, Golf sportswear (launched in 1998), and Tennis sportswear.
- Women's brands: Collection, Black Label, Blue Label (launched in 2002), RLX (launched in 2008), Lauren Ralph Lauren, Denim & Supply; and there is also 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
- 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.
- U.S. Olympic Team
In April 2008, Polo Ralph Lauren won the U.S. Olympic contract to outfit the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team. Roots Canada Ltd. announced its end as the official clothing supplier to the US Olympic team on April 7, 2008.
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 have 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.
- Levi Strauss lawsuit
Levi Strauss & Co. filed a lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch and the RL Corporation in July 2007 for trademark infringement. It alleged that the separate retailers used Levi's trademarked pocket design of connected arches in the design of some of their respective products.
- South African Polo trademark issues
- Filippa Hamilton photo controversy
In 2009, Ralph Lauren apologized for digitally retouching a photograph of model Filippa Hamilton to make her look thinner. Hamilton also claims that she was fired by Ralph Lauren a few days later. Another model's photo was also digitally retouched adding to the row of models.
- Bribes in Argentina to clear prohibited merchandise from customs
In 2012, Ralph Lauren agreed to pay $1.6 million to the DOJ and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in order to avoid prosecution under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a U.S. bill that punishes bribery to foreign government agents. Since the case went public in local newspapers, the Argentine tax agency suspended Ralph Lauren's operations in the country, blamed the firm's management board and private customs brokers for the bribery, and asked the U.S. Embassy for evidence and names in order to locally prosecute everyone involved.
- Advertisements with photos of Native Americans
In 2014 the corporation apologized for its insensitive use of Native Americans dressed in Western style clothing as if they were assimilated.
- "Ralph Lauren stores". Ralph Lauren Media. Retrieved May 10, 2012.[dead link]
- "Ralph Lauren Corp 2014 Annual Report Form (10-K)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. May 15, 2014.
- "2010 Form 10-K, Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- "Polo Ralph Lauren 4Q EPS 22c Vs 75c".
- "Polo Ralph Lauren". CNN. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- Lockwood, Lisa (18 September 2013). "Ralph Lauren Creates Office of the Chairman". WWD. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- Lockwood, Lisa (19 September 2013). "Jackwyn Nemerov Succeeds Roger Farah at Ralph Lauren". WWD. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- Moin, David (13 February 2014). "Denise Incandela Joins Ralph Lauren". WWD. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
- Lockwood, Lisa (19 February 2014). "Ralph Lauren Taps Valérie Hermann to Head Luxe Division". WWD. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
- "RL To Present Fall 2008 Golf Collections at PGA Merchandise Show". golfbusinesswire.com. 7 January 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- Chevalier, Michel (2012). Luxury Brand Management. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-17176-9.
- "Ralph Lauren Corporation – Yahoo Finance profile". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
- "Our Flagships". Ralph Lauren Media, LLC. Retrieved May 10, 2012.[dead link]
- "Ralph Lauren to Outfit Players at Wimbledon". The Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. June 18, 2006. p. D4.
Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. will become the first external company in 129 years to outfit the tournament's on-court officials, who will exchange their green polyester grass-blending jackets for smart navy blue ones. In the past, Wimbledon has done its own design of officials' uniforms.
- Appelbaum p.40
- Business Wire
- reportonbusiness.com: Marketing[dead link]
- Eddie Pells (July 2, 2009). "US team to wear Ralph Lauren again at Olympic. SWAGg ceremonies". Associated Press. Retrieved July 2, 2009.[dead link]
- Lawmakers furious over China-made U.S. Olympic uniform, Retrieved July 12, 2012
- Langell, Sean. "Bill calls for Olympians to wear U.S.-made gear". The Washington Times. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
- "Levi's says Abercrombie pick pocketed design (Denim maker files another lawsuit, this time against teen clothier Abercrombie & Fitch, over theft of its trademarked back-pocket design)". CNN. July 26, 2007. Retrieved June 22, 2009.
- "South Africa". Buildingipvalue.com. Retrieved 2012-07-09.[dead link]
- Power, Megan (10 March 2014). "Polo SA not Polo Ralph Lauren". South Africa: Times Live. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
- "Ralph Lauren apologizes for digitally retouching slender model to make her head look bigger than her waist". UK: Daily Mail. 10 October 2009. Retrieved 31 August 31, 2014. Check date values in:
- Filippa Hamilton, Ralph Lauren's Retouched Model: I Was Fired For Being Too Fat, huffingtonpost Retrieved 2011-10-25
- dailymail.co.uk, Second Ralph Lauren model in Photoshop row as she's airbrushed to become impossibly skinny, Retrieved 2011-10-25
- reuters.com, Ralph Lauren to pay $1.6 million to resolve Argentine bribery case[dead link], Retrieved 2013-04-23
- businessoffashion.com, Ralph Lauren Pays Fine to SEC Following Argentinian Bribery Scandal[dead link], Retrieved 2013-04-23
- Buenos Aires Herald, Government suspends Ralph Lauren operations in Argentina, Retrieved 2013-04-23
- euronews.com, Argentina questions Ralph Lauren bribery case[dead link], Retrieved 2013-04-23
- lanacion.com.ar, Tras las supuestas coimas, la AFIP suspendió el CUIT de Ralph Lauren, Retrieved 2013-04-23
- "CNN 'Ralph Lauren apologizes for Native American ads' (19 Dec 2014)" http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/18/living/ralph-lauren-assimiliation-ad-controversy/index.html
- Appelbaum, Michael (2005-03-14). "Tennis Apparel, Anyone?". Brandweek. p. 40.
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