Steering off course and into his legendary two-story car garage, Ralph Lauren took the road less traveled this New York Fashion Week. The iconic designer celebrated his 50th Anniversary by hosting a fashion show inside his garage located in Bedford, NY - 37 miles outside the city.
“My cars have always been an inspiration to me. I see them as moving art.” –Ralph Lauren
To catch you up to speed, the Ralph Lauren brand value has decreased drastically over the last several years. Discounting, dilution and saturation have all contributed to the fall. The longtime luxury brand adopted the fast fashion business model and the result was a visible compromise of quality and a declining bottom line. The fate of Ralph Lauren has been in question as younger generations find the brand less and less appealing.
With Ralph Lauren (the man) turning 77, Ralph Lauren (the brand) needed to act quickly if it were to regain its former highly coveted prestigious positioning. Time was of the essence and what better time for them than New York Fashion Week for their 50th Anniversary?
Hosting the special occasion inside the garage of Ralph Lauren's countryside home, as opposed to the city amongst the elite, was likely well thought out.
No Longer Idle
Over the years, the garage has come to symbolize more than the obvious.
In America, many creation myths take place in the garage. Apple, Xerox, Disney, HP, and Dell are but a few to have claimed such humble beginnings. A countless number of rock bands also owe thanks to the garage! Associations like these have made the garage become synonymous with innovation, ingenuity, and invention. When it comes to innovation, don’t let Ralph Lauren’s classic style fool you. Ralph has always been ahead of his time and rightfully claimed many firsts in both industry and society.
“We were the innovators of lifestyle advertisements that tell a story and the first to create stores that encourage customers to participate in that lifestyle.” –Ralph Lauren
The 50th Anniversary celebration during New York Fashion Week signaled many possibilities for Ralph Lauren.
Capitalizing on the new sports luxury and enthusiast lifestyle market might be beneficial for Ralph Lauren and the Polo brand. This would mean expanding beyond the traditional golf, tennis, and horseback riding, etc. With New England country club prep no longer being the epitome of cool, the brand has needed to pour new meaning into the Polo pony logo. This is nothing a little horsepower, or a game of chess, can't fix.
America loves a good comeback story and Ralph Lauren is due to win an Academy Award.