The final year of his current employment contract paid off handsomely for Ralph Lauren.
The 68-year-old founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. topped WWD’s list of highest paid vendors for the fourth year in a row with total compensation of $34.2 million, up 32 percent, or roughly $8.3 million, from his fiscal 2007 pay package.
But if the strong performance of Polo last year drove Lauren’s pay increase, it was a payoff that landed Peter Boneparth, former president and ceo of Jones Apparel Group Inc., in the second slot on the list. Boneparth, 48, stepped down from the top spot at Jones in July 2007, seven months into the company’s fiscal year, but earned total compensation of $16.9 million, of which $16.7 million was attributable to severance payments and the early vesting of restricted stock awards, according to the firm’s definitive proxy statement. Termination payments — defined as “salary, bonus and benefits for the period subsequent to the termination of employment” — accounted for $11.2 million of Boneparth’s total.
Roger Farah, 55, president and chief operating officer of Polo, took the third spot on the vendor pay list with compensation of $15.7 million, more than $3 million above last year’s tally.
The bulk of Lauren’s increase came from stock and option awards, up $12.5 million to $20.7 million last year from $8.2 million the year before. He was reimbursed $1 million for use of his personal aircraft by executives of the company. As in the prior year, Lauren received no bonus.
As reported, the terms of Lauren’s compensation under his new contract have changed, even as his base salary has been lifted to $1.25 million from $1 million. To put his compensation arrangements more in line with other members of Polo’s senior management, starting this year he will be entitled to a bonus only if 80 percent, rather than 50 percent, of the company performance target has been reached. Stock option grants have been reduced to 100,000 stock options from 150,000, and the term for stock options was reduced to seven years from 10 years. Restricted stock units were reduced to 75,000 from 100,000 and are now based on performance rather than time.
Last year, Polo’s net income increased 4.7 percent, to $419.9 million, or $3.99 a diluted share, while net revenues were up 13.6 percent to $4.88 billion.
Unlike the top 10 highest paid retailers, there were no declines in compensation among the vendor executives. All but one — Phillips-Van Heusen Corp.’s chief executive Emanuel Chirico, 52, whose pay package remained the same as last year at $6.7 million — saw gains in their total compensation. This year, the top 10 were paid a total of $123.3 million, up 39 percent, or $34.6 million, from the 10 highest paid vendors last year, who took in $88.7 million. This takes an opposite turn from the pay packages of the top 10 highest paid retailers, who experienced a collective compensation decline of $54.3 million.
“These are key vendors, these are the good vendors — the ones that are not performing are not on the list,” said Terre Simpson, president of Simpson Associates, a New York-based executive search firm. “In retail there’s a spread of the best and the worst. Obviously, not everybody is selling,” which explains why the highest paid retailers saw a decline in their pay packages.
“Ralph Lauren performs well, but not every vendor can say the same,” added Simpson. “He’s the premier American vendor. He’s number one because he does a lot of things right.”
Collectively, this year’s top 10 executives made $45.5 million more than last year’s assemblage. The gains ranged from $1.4 million for number 10-ranked Warnaco Group Inc. ceo Joseph Gromek, to a whopping $12.8 million for Boneparth, whose departure pushed him to number two after he missed the top 10 last year.
Boneparth’s employment at Jones ended on July 12, 2007, after it had been disclosed his employment wouldn’t be extended beyond the original March 31, 2009, expiration of his contract. Boneparth reportedly had clashed with Jones’ board over issues ranging from the sale of Barneys New York to the question of whether the company should be sold as a single entity or through a series of divestitures.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)