Ralph Lauren focuses on womenswear in New York

First Hermes opened its first menswear store on Wall Street last year, followed by Balenciaga and Dries van Noten in Paris, Ralph Lauren has just inaugurated a store devoted to women as well as homewear collections. A first for the American label, it has chosen to install itself on Madison Avenue (no. 888) in front of its historic New York flagship, the "Rhinelander" (no. 867). For this occasion, the designer has received the "keys to the city of New York" from Mayor Michael Bloomberg for Lauren’s various contributions to the world of fashion.

Ralph Lauren
Inside the new Ralph Lauren womenswear boutique in New York


With more than 2 000 square metres of sales space enclosed in an elegant Beaux-Arts building, Ralph Lauren has not done anything in half measures. Inside, the layout and decor have nothing to envy compared to the establishment opposite. Indeed, once over the threshold, it is a magisterial white marble staircase with wrought iron railing that greets every customer, serving the four-storey shop.

Arranged like a typical Manhattan townhouse, the different areas host collections of ready-to-wear (including Black Label, Blue Label and RLX), accessories including leather goods, jewellery, watches. The vast dressing room for shoes, with an adjoining bedroom tastefully furnished for staging the homewear ranges, is extended by a living room dedicated to evening gowns. Another room next door is the leather room. We could certainly live here. Finally anyway, it provides all the ingredients to make an emblematic store.

Ralph Lauren
Inside the new Ralph Lauren store in New York


Finally, remembering that it is supported by its network of own Polo Ralph Lauren shops, it managed to stay on course in 2009, offsetting difficulties from its sales in multibrand department stores. While its total sales dropped one point to 4 billion Euros, the retail category recorded an increase of 9% to over 1.8 billion. Online sales even jumped up 18%. As for operating profit, it grew by 19% to 571 million Euros.



Original by Emilie-Alice Fabrizi. Translated by Rosie Hart

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