Ralph Lauren Corporation

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Ralph Lauren Corporation

legal form Corporation
ISIN US7512121010
founding 1967
Seat New York City , United States
management Patrice Louvet, CEO and Ralph Lauren, Chairman
Number of employees 23,500
sales 6,182,000,000 USD
Branch Textile industry
Website www.ralphlauren.com
As of March 31, 2018

The Ralph Lauren Corporation is a publicly traded fashion company headquartered in New York City . The 1967 by Ralph Lauren Founded offers, among other clothing and accessories in the luxury segment of, sells them worldwide through its stores and on the retail and is unique for its under the brand name Polo by Ralph Lauren offered polo shirts with embroidered polo player in Preppy internationally known style .


The company Polo by Ralph Lauren was founded in 1967 in New York by the American Ralph Lauren (born October 14, 1939), who had been a salesman for the American men's outfitter Brooks Brothers from 1964 to 1966 . A loan of US $ 50,000 (according to today's purchasing power US $ 393,096) enabled him to design his own line of ties and sell it under the name Polo Fashion to renowned retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s .

Company founder Ralph Lauren, 1978
Ralph Lauren flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York City , 2010
Entrance to the Ralph Lauren flagship store on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, 2007
Hong Kong branch of the Club Monaco chain acquired in 1999

In its first year of business, Lauren generated sales of $ 500,000 with its ties (equivalent to over $ 3,820,000 today). Polo Fashion was originally a Brooks Brothers brand and was intended for a clothing line for polo players . Lauren bought Brooks Brothers' rights to the brand in 1967. The first polo men's collection in New England style appeared in 1968, the equivalent for women with men's shirts inspired shirt blouses in feminine cuts and elegant trouser suits or tuxedos followed in 1971. Even in 1969 was a shop-in-shop in New York's Bloomingdale's store with Ralph Lauren menswear has opened. The first freestanding polo store opened in Beverly Hills on Rodeo Drive in 1971 .

The brand first gained greater prominence in the United States in 1972 when Ralph Lauren began making polo shirts . The polo shirts with the polo player embroidered on the chest were already offered in the first collection in 24 different colors. Lauren originally had the polo player on the arm cuffs of shirts from 1971. The embroidered polo player can only be found in the Polo , Blue Label , Polo Golf , Tennis , Pink Pony and children's collections since the portfolio was expanded to include additional clothing lines in the 1990s , see the Collections section below. Since the mid-2000s there has also been the Big Pony collection within the polo line with an oversized embroidered polo player.

The fact that Ralph Lauren outfitted the actors , including Robert Redford , of the movie The Great Gatsby in 1974 with elegant clothes in the style of the 1920s on the setting of the Hamptons , which are symbolic of wealthy Americans , brought the young company immense publicity and prestige . Ralph Lauren also acted as the official outfitter in Woody Allen's Der Stadtneurotiker in 1977.

By the late 1970s, around ten more polo stores had opened in the United States. In the New Bond Street in London the first international store was opened in 1981 and is still there. Two years later, Ralph Lauren acquired the Rhinelander Mansion building on New York's Madison Avenue , completely renovated it and opened a flagship store there in 1986 on five floors. On the opposite side of the street, a polo sports shop was opened in 1993 , which was rebuilt in 2005 and expanded in 2010 and converted into a women's boutique. Since then, the Rhinelander Mansion has been a men's boutique. In 1986 a boutique was opened in Paris.

In 1997, the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange as the largest listed clothing company under the name Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation ( ticker symbol PRL ) . As of 2012, Ralph Lauren owned approximately 73% of the voting rights in PRL. In 2000, the company entered the Internet business and founded the company RL media together with the television station NBC , which was responsible for online sales and the website polo.com . The cooperation was contractually designed for 30 years. In 2007, however, Ralph Lauren took over the shares in NBC and renamed his website ralphlauren.com . In the same year, Ralph Lauren Corporation became one of the largest retailers in the United States, with sales of $ 4.2 billion. Since then, the online shop has also been expanded to other countries, including Germany and Austria.

In 2011, the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation operated 103 of its own retail stores worldwide under the name Ralph Lauren (61 in North and South America, 26 in Europe and 16 in Asia). There were also almost 500 shops-in-shops in Asia, 201 Ralph Lauren factory outlets (143 in North and South America, 35 in Europe and 23 in Asia), 16 rugby shops (all closed until 2013 or as shops for other Ralph Lauren brands repurposed) and 59 Club Monaco stores in the USA and Canada. The company's official Ralph Lauren flagship stores include large-scale stores in New York (2 ×), Greenwich , Chicago, Paris, London, Milan, Moscow and Tokyo . Most foreign boutiques were operated by other companies with licenses in the past, until the Ralph Lauren Corporation bought back many licenses from the 2000s, among other things, in order to gain full control over the presentation of the goods. In 2011 there were a total of 59 partner-operated Ralph Lauren stores, 27 Ralph Lauren shops-in-shops in Australia , New Zealand and South America and 58 foreign Club Monaco stores in Europe and Asia. In retail outside the Ralph Lauren boutiques, the Ralph Lauren brand was found in over 11,000 authorized retail outlets worldwide in fiscal 2011. Of the approximately 5 billion US dollars in sales that were generated in 2010, 3.5 were achieved in the USA and Canada, one billion in Europe and around 500 million in the other regions. In the same year the company employed around 19,000 people. In 2011, net income was $ 681 million, with sales of $ 6.9 billion ($ 4.4 billion in North and South America, $ 1.5 billion in Europe and $ 970 million in Asia). At the beginning of 2012, the number of employees was around 25,000 worldwide. In addition to textiles, leather goods, accessories, perfumes and cosmetics, the company still produces furniture and operates the restaurants RL in Chicago (since 1999) and Ralph's in Paris (since 2010), each of which has a Ralph Lauren boutique . In 2014, a café called Ralph's Coffee opened in the newly opened Polo store on New York's Fifth Avenue (store closed in mid-2017); The Polo Bar Restaurant has been in Midtown Manhattan since 2015 , in London it opened in early 2017 in the Mayfair district within the local RL flagship store Ralph's Coffee & Bar and in Hong Kong there has also been a Ralph's Coffee Café since the beginning of 2018 . The license for the Ralph Lauren sunglasses collections lies with the Italian manufacturer Luxottica .

In 1970 Ralph Lauren received the Coty Award for its menswear, 1976 for both men and women and 1977 again for womenswear , which was replaced in 1985 by the fashion award of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). The CFDA honored Ralph Lauren in 1981 (women's fashion), 1986 (retailer of the year), 1991 (life's work; presented by Audrey Hepburn ), and 1996 and 2007 (both men's fashion). Lauren is the only winner to date to have been recognized in all of these four categories. In addition, the CFDA recognized Lauren in the categories Dom Pérignon Humanitarian Leadership (1998), American Fashion Legend (2007), Popular Vote (2009) and Members Salute (2018).

On September 29, 2015, the Ralph Lauren Corporation announced that the Swedish fashion manager Stefan Larsson (* 1974), a former H&M and Old Navy manager, would replace the company's founder Ralph Lauren as CEO - as a first in the company's history . Ralph Lauren himself remained chairman of the board of directors and chief designer. Under Larsson, a restructuring plan was developed that stipulated that 50 stores would be closed, various sub-brands abandoned (focus on the three core brands Ralph Lauren , Polo and Lauren ), the supply chain optimized, management downsized and over a thousand jobs cut in the group . In autumn 2016, Ralph Lauren's youngest son, David Lauren - who has been with the Group in marketing since 2000 and a member of the Board of Directors since 2013 - was appointed Chief Innovation Officer. At the beginning of February 2017, Larsson's complete withdrawal from the company was confirmed due to differing opinions regarding the corporate strategy between himself and Ralph Lauren, although Larsson's turnaround plan was generally adhered to. Larsson's position was temporarily taken over by Chief Financial Officer Jane Nielsen. In mid-2017, the former Procter & Gamble Manager Patrice Louvet was appointed as the new RL CEO.


Classic Ralph Lauren polo shirt worn by Bernd Weiß
Spring 2012 fashion show of the Collection line in New York

From 1967, the company initially consisted of the Polo by Ralph Lauren men's collection with upscale sportswear and accessories in the medium price segment. In 1971, women's fashion was added under the name Ralph Lauren . The high-priced catwalk line for women is now called Collection in the Ralph Lauren portfolio and is presented at the New York fashion shows . With a few exceptions (such as the 2002 Milan Fashion Week or 2006 New York Fashion Week ), Ralph Lauren's menswear is not presented in fashion shows.

In 1987 the range was expanded to include a separate golf fashion collection for men called Polo Golf . Golf fashion for women followed in 1990. In 1993, Ralph Lauren - inspired by his ranch in Colorado - launched the high-priced RRL collection ('Double RL') with rustic western fashion for men, for which there are separate boutiques (since 2010 also with women's fashion). The Polo Sport collection with sporty leisure wear for men was also introduced in 1993, followed by its counterpart for women in 1996, although both were discontinued in 2005. The RLX collection ('Ralph Lauren Extreme'; initially called Polo Sport RLX ) for professional athletes, which was launched in 1998, took over from the Polo Sport line in 2005 and has its own golf division. For the summer 2015 season, Ralph Lauren reintroduced the Polo Sport clothing line, which was discontinued in 2005, with sport and fitness clothing and a changed logo, initially for men, followed by the women's line at the end of the same year. With the spring 2017 collection, however, the Polo Sport brand was discontinued as part of the company's focus on the core brands. In 2019, the Polo Sport collection for women and men was revived with the logo from the 1990s. The RLX line was limited to golf fashion, but from 2019 also appeared as a sub-collection of the Purple Label collection for men in the top price segment. In the field of sports, there is also a tennis collection for men and women, under whose names special collections have appeared since 2005 for the annual US Open and since 2006 also for Wimbledon via sports sponsorship agreements .

In 1994 the exclusive Purple Label collection in the top price segment was added to the men's range, which is based on English country nobility and includes items that are handmade in England or Italy and a bespoke tailoring service in the Savile Row style. The separate denim collection Polo Jeans Co. , launched in 1996, was initially discontinued in 2006, re-presented in Europe in 2007, reintroduced worldwide as Polo Denim in 2009 and finally renamed Denim & Supply in 2010 . The latter was discontinued in spring 2017 and instead the polo line was expanded to include jeans fashion. The Blue Label collection for women, corresponding to the Polo line for men , was officially launched in 2002 and renamed Polo at the end of 2014 . In 2005 Ralph Lauren presented the Black Label line with fashionable, modern business and leisure clothing, some of which were made in Italy, and slim silhouettes as a link between the Polo and Purple Label collections for men and the Collection line and the Blue Label and Polo collections for Ladies. In 2015, the decision was made to integrate the Black Label collections into the Purple Label collection for men and the Collection line for women, thereby removing the name from the market.

In North American retail, apart from the Ralph Lauren stores, the Lauren by Ralph Lauren business collection for men is also offered in the lower mid-price segment. A medium-priced women's fashion collection has existed under the same name since 1996, and can also be bought in Ralph Lauren boutiques along with the corresponding Lauren Jeans Co. line. The RALPH by Ralph Lauren line, designed for young women in 1999, was withdrawn from the market after a few years. For men there is a business line called Ralph by Ralph Lauren, which is offered exclusively in Dillard’s department stores .

For women and men, there has also been a charity collection, Pink Pony, with pink polo players since 2000 , part of the proceeds of which are donated to cancer research, mainly for breast cancer . There are separate polo collections for children of all ages (children since 1976/1977, toddlers since 1993). For home needs, Ralph Lauren Home (since 1983) and Lauren Home offer home accessories, furniture, fabrics, cutlery and crockery, bed linen, bathroom utensils and even wall paint (since 1995). Even for pets like dogs there is Ralph Lauren Home fashion from Ralph Lauren.

The brand Ralph Lauren Watch and Jewelry Co. has existed since 2009 in cooperation with the Swiss Richemont Group , under whose name high-priced wristwatches and jewelry for women are offered. With the autumn / winter 2014 collection, the company also introduced the polo collection for women, which had never existed before and which ultimately replaced the Blue Label line.

Outside of the Ralph Lauren brand portfolio, there was a separate Rugby Ralph Lauren brand with its own branch network for a younger target group from 2004 to 2013 , until today the Chaps brand , which was part of the Ralph Lauren range in the beginning and has been exclusively in the Ralph Lauren range since the 2000s low-price segment for the department store chain Kohl's is made and a few other retailers under license, the brand American Living , which also in the low price segment from 2008 to 2012 for the JC Penney was produced stores and since the acquisition of the original Canadian company in 1999, the fashion brand Club Monaco with its own branch network.

Current collections

Ralph Lauren brand portfolio
Men's Ladies
  • Purple Label (designer line in the upper price segment since 1996)
  • Polo by Ralph Lauren (traditional sportswear line in the upper mid-price segment since 1967)
  • RRL Double RL (high-priced denim line in Western style since 1993, own boutiques)
  • Lauren Ralph Lauren (medium-priced business line for department stores, including shoes)
  • Ralph by Ralph Lauren (cheaper business line for department store chain Dillard's)
  • Polo Golf (golf clothing since 1987; expanded to include RLX Golf in 2015 )
  • Polo Sport (sportswear within the Polo line from 1993, replaced by RLX in 2005, reissued from 2015-2017, back in the original since 2019)
  • RLX (sports clothing from 1998; with the reintroduction of Polo Sport in 2015 reduced to RLX Golf , since 2019 also as Purple Label)
  • Tennis (tennis line, outfitter for the US Open and Wimbledon)
  • Create your own (customized polo line since 2003)
  • Pink Pony ( breast cancer - charity -line with pink player since 2000)
  • Big & Tall (large and long sizes within the Polo line)
  • Ralph Lauren (men's shoes, sandals, sports shoes)
  • Ralph (sunglasses, accessories)
  • Collection (designer line in the upper price segment since 1971)
  • Polo by Ralph Lauren (sportswear collection from 2002 initially as Blue Label , renamed in 2014)
  • RRL Double RL (high-priced western-style denim line since 2010, own boutiques)
  • Lauren (Classic women's line in the medium price segment, also small ('Petite') and large ('Woman') sizes)
  • Lauren Jeans Co. and Lauren Active (denim and sports collections within the Lauren line)
  • Ralph Lauren Golf (golf apparel since 1998; expanded to include RLX Golf in 2015 )
  • Polo Sport (sportswear within the Polo line from 1996, replaced by RLX in 2005, reissued from 2015-2017, back in the original since 2019)
  • RLX (sports clothing from 1998; reduced to RLX Golf with the reintroduction of Polo Sport 2015 )
  • Ralph Lauren Tennis (tennis line, outfitter US Open and Wimbledon)
  • Create your own (customized polo line since 2003)
  • Pink Pony (breast cancer benefit line with pink player since 2000)
  • Ralph Lauren (women's shoes, sandals, sports shoes)
  • Ralph (sunglasses, accessories)

Former collections

Ralph Lauren brand portfolio
Men's Ladies
  • Black Label (high-priced business and leisure line since 2005, with a denim extension from 2011; integrated into Purple Label in 2016 )
  • Polo Jeans Co. (youth denim sportswear from 1996, from 2007 to 2011 exclusively in Europe and Asia, replaced by Denim & Supply in 2011 )
  • Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren (worldwide successor collection of Polo Jeans Co. , from 2010 to 2016)
  • Rugby Ralph Lauren ( college- style youth line , operated separately from 2004 to 2013, formerly own boutiques)
  • Black Label (high-priced women's line from 2005; integrated into collection in 2016 )
  • Polo Jeans Co. (youth denim sportswear from 1996, from 2007 to 2011 exclusively in Europe and Asia, replaced by Denim & Supply in 2011 )
  • Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren (worldwide successor collection of Polo Jeans Co. , from 2010 to 2016)
  • Rugby Ralph Lauren ( college- style youth line , operated separately from 2004 to 2013, formerly own boutiques)


The polo perfume for men launched in 1978

Perfume and personal care products have been sold under the Polo Ralph Lauren name since 1978 . Ralph Lauren granted the license to the French cosmetics group L'Oréal .

The first perfume for men was called Polo (1978), and that for women was Lauren (1978). These two were followed by numerous other fragrances for women and / or men, some of which were discontinued after a while: Chaps (1979), Tuxedo (1979), Chaps Musk (1985), Monogram (1985), Safari (1990/1992) , Polo Crest (1991), Polo Sport (1996), Extreme Polo Sport (1998), Romance (1998/1999), Ralph (2000 and numerous variations), Glamorous (2001), Polo Blue (2002), Ralph Lauren Blue ( 2003), Romance Silver (2003), Purple Label (2003), Lauren Style (2004), Pure Turquoise (2005), Polo Black (2005), Double Black (2006), Polo Explorer (2007), Polo Modern Reserve (2008 ), Notorious (2008), Love (2008), Romance Always Yours (2008), Big Pony Collection (2010/2012), The Ralph Lauren Collection Fragrances (2016), Ralph Lauren Woman (2017)

Sports sponsorship

Ralph Lauren outfit for the US Olympic team, 2010

Ralph Lauren is the official outfitter of the Wimbledon tournament (since 2006), the US Open (since 2005), the US Olympic team (since 2008) and various golf professionals. The company is responsible for designing the clothes for the ball boys, judges and other tournament participants at these events.

Ralph Lauren brands in South Africa

The sale and purchase of Polo Ralph Lauren clothing is prohibited in South Africa . The South African company Polo South Africa (since 1998 LA Group Ltd.) secured the name Polo and the logo of a mounted polo player in the 1970s and operates its own polo stores in South Africa .

Web links

Commons : Ralph Lauren  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Advice From Ralph Lauren Innovation Chief David Lauren: Be The Shark fastcompany.com, January 9, 2017
  2. Financial Highlights of the Polo Ralh Lauren Corporation (English)
  3. Lauren's profile on fashionmodeldirectory.com, accessed on April 7, 2012 (English).
  4. Lauren's biography on Bunte .de
  5. Lauren's biography on Vogue .co.uk, accessed on April 7, 2012 (English).
  6. Annual Report of the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation (English)
  7. Polo Ralph Lauren increases profit for the whole year by 24%  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , yahoo.com, May 22, 2012.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / de.nachrichten.yahoo.com  
  8. Website of the RL restaurant (English)
  9. Ralph Lauren's American Dream . racked.com, July 26, 2016.
  10. The Crown Prince between child and career . faz.net, January 4, 2017.
  11. Ralph Lauren boss resigns after differences . wiwo.de, February 2, 2017.
  12. Ralph Lauren Corporation Announces CEO Departure . ralphlauren.com, February 2, 2017.
  13. Ralph Lauren discontinues Denim & Supply . fashionnetwok.com, November 16, 2016.
  14. New York Fashion Week: Ralph Lauren with two shows ( memento of the original from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , textilwirtschaft.de, February 14, 2014. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.textilwirtschaft.de
  15. Website of the company Polo South Africa (English)