The world of Ralph Lauren keeps getting bigger and more distinctive, a strategy that is positioning the company to continue its growth spiral.
In a walk-through of the spring collection at his New York offices Tuesday, Lauren expressed optimism that his company, which last week posted a 52.4 percent jump in first-quarter profits, will maintain its strong showing in the future. “We have a lot of international growth [ahead of us],” he said. “It’s not just about the store on the corner in New Jersey anymore; it’s the world.”
The company has set its sights on growing its wholesale and retail distribution in Europe, particularly Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and plans call for launching e-commerce in France and Germany before the end of the year. Lauren said Tuesday that Brazil is also a growth area.
“Brazil is getting to be like Italy — very stylish and a love of life, and they are willing to pay for it,” the designer said.
Lauren noted that whether in Brazil, Asia or Europe, the company’s ability to target a wide range of shoppers with its varying labels — everything from the luxury-level Purple Label to the more-democratic Polo line, as well as Double RL sportswear and RLX activewear — allows it to operate “on the main street or a hip side street.”
The breadth of that offering was evident for spring in a series of vignettes that brought each of the sublabels to life.
Starting with Purple Label, Lauren said the spring collection is “much more adventurous” and targeted to the “dandy guy. It’s for the young guy who wants the ultimate in quality fashion.” Described as “a little retro but not old-fashioned,” the sophisticated offering harkened back to “The Great Gatsby” with its bold pattern-on-pattern suits with slim lapels, double-breasted vests and trim silhouettes. The neckwear, which sported bold patterns, was juxtaposed with small-collared dress shirts. In addition to a black-and-white story, there was a navy grouping, as well as one focused on browns and creams, much of it shown monochromatically. “It’s a different way to wear a suit for spring,” Lauren said. “It’s bold yet minimal.”
Two-toned shoes, based on a model that Lauren had created 25 years ago, provided a finishing touch. “The shoes lift the suit,” Lauren said.
The Black Label collection is “for the sleek, modern guy,” he said, with the core black and gray suits livened up with pops of lavender and blue. Suit models were low-cut two-button styles or six-button double-breasted and nipped at the waist, and shirts had small collars. “It’s a tight concept,” he said. “This is not a trendy guy, but he’s cool.”
Black Label sportswear made a statement with eye-popping accents of racing-color yellow and green. Pants and shorts were slim, and leather shirts were a surprise addition. “This guy drives a Ferrari,” Lauren said.
Black Label Denim, which was introduced last season, has been expanded for spring with a safari-inspired grouping, unconstructed jackets, chinos and bleached-out and colored denim.
The flagship Polo collection continues to speak to the “diehard preppy,” Lauren said, with natural-shoulder three-button jackets with wider lapels and traditional patterns of herringbones, gabardines or plaids. Weekend sportswear looks included drawstring cargoes, khakis, fishermen sweaters and vintage ethnic prints inspired by mountaineering and camping — or: “Heritage pieces done in a new way,” according to Lauren. There was also a country-club grouping with seersucker and patchwork patterns. “This gives him ammunition for the weekend,” Lauren said.
The Double RL offering featured more tailored pieces and furnishings for spring, allowing this “cult” customer to shop for a complete wardrobe. “We opened a store on Bleecker Street, and it’s doing very well,” he said. “There’s so much interest in suits in Double RL.”
The RLX active line was an explosion of color, with an infusion of bright oranges and lime greens. Although high fashion, the collection is also high performance, targeted to the runner, mountain climber or sailor.
The company also showcased an array of accessories, everything from tie bars and cuff links to all iterations of leather bags. The company’s shoe collection has been expanded, ranging from classic British lace-ups to espadrilles and boat shoes.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)