Glossy – Ralph Lauren has always been associated with a certain image: a preppy, WASP-y style that has remained relatively unchanged for years. But its latest global campaign, which launched Thursday, sees it emphasizing diversity and inclusivity as the brand seeks to reinvent its image and its business strategy.
With the refocus, the brand has also embraced things like streetwear, both through the adoption of the drop model and in some of the brand’s high-profile collaborations, including one with British streetwear brand Palace that was named one of the best collaborations of 2018 by Highsnobiety.
Ralph Lauren has also shifted its attention to the international stage. After closing several stores in the U.S., including its Fifth Avenue flagship store in April last year, the brand has been actively rolling out stores in China, opening “one a week,” said Ralph Lauren CEO Patrice Louvet, who joined the company in 2017. (Ralph Lauren still plays an active role in brand decision-making.) The brand currently has around 80 stores in China.
“China represent about a third of all personal luxury goods purchases globally and is one of the fastest growing markets for luxury retail,” said David Naumann, vp of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “Fashion brands can’t ignore the lucrative Asian markets, as it represents tremendous growth opportunities. Ralph Lauren can maximize profits by closing underperforming U.S. stores and using the capital to open stores in Asia that have the potential to garner significantly more revenue.”