NEW YORK — Change continues to sweep through the top ranks at Ralph Lauren Corp.
WWD has learned that Wayne Meichner, president and chief operating officer of Ralph Lauren Retail Group, will be leaving the company, and that Joy Herfel has been promoted to group president of wholesale and retail for the Americas, a new position.
Herfel, a 25-year veteran of Ralph Lauren, has been group president of men’s wear and children’s wear since 2009. She has been responsible for all men’s brands, including Purple Label, RLX, golf and women’s golf and for all children’s brands.
Two other key changes shook the ranks last month. Valérie Hermann, former president and chief executive officer of Reed Krakoff, was tapped to be president of Ralph Lauren Luxury Collections, another new post. Hermann will join the company in April and report directly to Ralph Lauren, chairman and ceo. When Hermann was selected, Lauren noted that the luxury part of the business has grown to a point where it deserved its own focus. Hermann’s role will be an extensive one, giving her oversight of Black Label, Purple Label, fine jewelry, eyewear, timepieces, handbags, RRL and fragrance.
Also last month, Saks Fifth Avenue’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Denise Incandela, joined Ralph Lauren as president of global digital and global e-commerce, replacing Eric Korman.
In the fall there was another dramatic move. Jackwyn Nemerov was promoted to president and chief operating officer, succeeding Roger Farah, who became executive vice chairman. Nemerov is responsible for global merchandising, manufacturing and supply chain operations, as well as the company’s retail, wholesale and licensing businesses worldwide. At that time Lauren formed an office of the chairman, led by him, that included Farah, Nemerov and Christopher Peterson, executive vice president and chief financial and administrative officer. Hermann is now also part of the office of the chairman.
A spokesman for Ralph Lauren said Meichner’s departure is months away, possibly six. He had no information on Meichner’s plans. Meichner joined Polo in 2002 and had worked for Saks Fifth Avenue for 23 years, ultimately rising through the ranks to become the retailer’s executive vice president of merchandising.
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“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia