Last winter came the surprising news that Stefan Larsson was stepping down as chief executive officer of Ralph Lauren Corp. in the midst of implementing his “Way Forward” plan. Larsson admitted he was leaving because of disagreements, ostensibly with Lauren, over the creative and consumer-facing parts of the business, including product, marketing and store experience. The company and Larsson said it was a mutual decision following extensive discussions to find common ground.Lauren tapped another outsider, Patrice Louvet, group president, global beauty at Procter & Gamble Co., as president and ceo in May. He also joined the board. Louvet, who assumed his role in July, vowed to partner with Lauren to turn around the struggling brand. He stepped into the role at a time where the industry is seeing a decline in store traffic, excessive discounting and declining brand value for some key legacy brands.“As I engage with the team, we’ll be looking at what’s the next phase, where are operational efficiencies and what are the vectors of growth,” said Louvet, when it was revealed he had taken the role. Digital is also a huge focus for Louvet. “The vision is ultimately that our web site is going to be our flagship. That’s the way to think of it.…It’s critical that the Ralph Lauren business be well-positioned. I think we would both say it’s a big opportunity today and we’re underleveraged in that space,” he said.In a blog post he wrote when he took the job, Louvet said the company is looking at ways to “elevate the product offerings,” as well as increase quality to sales, distribution and discounting approaches. He also said he hopes to tailor the company’s strategy to better serve its global customers in a local way.Market observers said Louvet’s main priorities are global expansion, particularly the Asia-Pacific region, digital growth, less discounting of the brand, upgrading the product, lowering inventory, speeding up turnaround times, restoring the company’s cachet in the market and renewing long-term growth.During an earnings call this month when first-quarter earnings were revealed, the company said it plans to continue shrinking its wholesale presence and is set to exit between 20 and 25 percent of “underperforming” U.S. department stores by the end of the fiscal year.Further, Lauren said it had cut back the number of stockkeeping units by 20 percent for fall, manufactured a more focused, higher-margin assortment and had shortened lead times to get 35 percent of its business on a six-month cycle and 90 percent on a nine-month cycle by the end of fiscal 2018 to reduce markdowns and drive improved buying.“While we are addressing challenges in our business, we have significant opportunity ahead and we’re moving forward with urgency,” said Louvet. “Ralph and I are focused on actively evolving the brand expression and consumer experience so we can ultimately renew growth and get back to leading. We are continuing to build a strong foundation for future growth, as evidenced by our progress this quarter on the key elements."
@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 (📷: Dominique Maître)
@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)