Ralph Lauren Is Stepping Down as CEO of His Eponymous Brand
Old Navy's president Stefan Larsson will be succeeding the fashion giant.
Think fondly of the polo shirts and chinos that you have stashed away in your closet for a particularly preppy day, because today Ralph Lauren announced that he was going to be departing from the high-fashion house that he built in 1967. Well, he’s not so much leaving as taking a major step back by resigning as Ralph Lauren Corporation’s CEO.
The designer—born Ralph Lifshitz in 1939—will be giving the colorful and well-tailored reins over to rising fashion executive star Stefan Larsson, who is best known for boosting Old Navy‘s stock and status in the world. The transition comes at a time of financial trouble for the RL brand, which owns Club Monaco alongside various Polo labels, and is welcomed by the board and investors (as of right now, Ralph Lauren stock is up 12%).
Fans of the high-end design brand shouldn’t be concerned by Larsson’s budget-friendly fashion background affecting the quality or price of Ralph Lauren clothing, not only because RL has been marketing to the non-luxury masses for years, but because Lauren will still have his hand in the future of the company as executive chairman and chief creative officer. Lauren will work alongside Larsson until “they start designing things [he] can’t understand” and has full faith in his new CEO: “Stefan and I have a strong personal bond and share a vision for the future of Ralph Lauren. I appreciate Stefan’s unique sensibility, his honesty, and his authenticity.”