Ralph Lauren sent the fashion world spinning with the Tuesday (Sept. 30) announcement that he’ll no longer hold the CEO position at his namesake label. This comes after years of memorable work in the world of fashion, where he’s made his mark with his iconic polo shirts and dressing stars like Blake Lively and the Duchess of Cambridge (née Kate Middleton).
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The designer also revealed his successor will be Stefan Larsson, who has previously worked at major retailers including H&M and, most recently, Old Navy.
This will be the first time in the company’s history where Ralph won’t be CEO of his brand. However, that’s not to say the designer is fully retiring – he will stay on at the label not only as an executive chairman, but also as the head of Ralph Lauren’s design team.
“I am here, and I am not leaving,” said Ralph in a statement. “Stefan is coming to the company because I really believe he’s going to be an interesting addition. He understands what dreams are.
“In this business, it’s about dreams because you are dreaming ahead and you’re about progress and change and newness.”
The admiration is clearly mutual, with Stefan admitting that the designer himself played a key role in convincing him to join the group.
“One of the biggest reasons for me to join is the opportunity to work side by side with someone like Ralph,” he said.
Ralph first founded his label in 1967, originally launching as a menswear brand, before expanding to womenswear in 1971. Since then the fashion house sells everything from accessories, denim ranges and kidswear, to home interiors and fragrances – and even counts restaurants in its ever-growing empire.