The king of fashion is dead(ish), long live the new king.
After 48 years, Ralph Lauren, the man behind the quintessential look of American fashion, is stepping down.
Lauren surprised many today when he announced he is bowing out as CEO of Ralph Lauren Corp. His handpicked choice, Stefan Larsson, will replace him. Larsson, 41, made his name as part of the H&M team that so swiftly expanded in the United States before taking over as president of Gap’s Old Navy branch. Lauren will stay on as the company’s executive chairman and chief creative officer, but as he said to The New York Times: “When they start designing things I can’t understand, I’ll quit,”
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Larsson said he and Lauren “connected in five minutes,” and that his accomplished predecessor “surprised me by being so focused on growth.”
Born Ralph Lifshitz to Jewish immigrant parents from Pinsk, Belarus, the Bronx boy, who will celebrate his 76th birthday October 14, became known as “the man who dresses America.” Lauren’s iconic styles brought cowboy chic to every department store, and plaid into every closet. Here’s hoping the fashion line’s iconic look doesn’t change.