By and  on January 19, 2009

GENEVA — Ralph Lauren galloped into Geneva for a gala dinner hosted Sunday by Compagnie Financière Richemont chief Johann Rupert to launch the American designer’s first luxury watches.

The launch is a major step for Richemont, the world’s second-largest luxury goods group after LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. And it comes as the sector faces major challenges — Richemont on Monday said demand for luxury goods has fallen dramatically, and the company is facing the “toughest market conditions” since its formation 20 years ago.

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