Ralph Lauren is definitely feeling pressure to drum up business right now: the company saw declines in both yearly revenue growth and comparable sales throughout fiscal 2015 due to several problems highlighted in a June investor presentation: too many brands, too much inventory, not enough marketing buzz, among others. This fashion week, the company is taking its first step forward in a new, consumer-facing direction since Stefan Larsson replaced Ralph Lauren, the man, as CEO last November. According to Vogue, on Wednesday the brand will present its first see-now-buy-now collection for fall, available immediately at its boutiques, online and with wholesalers. Ralph Lauren will host two shows — one for "usual industry types" and one for "label loyalists" outside the iconic Madison Avenue flagship store. Representatives for Ralph Lauren did not respond to requests for confirmation.
“Showing clothes, then delivering them six months later... it’s over," says Lauren in Vogue's October issue, which reveals five looks from the upcoming collection. "With the Internet, social media... you have to change."
Club Monaco, owned by Ralph Lauren, also presented a shoppable collection during its first fashion week appearance on Friday, demonstrating that the company is starting to follow the changes outlined in its June strategy presentation. It highlighted the need for "impactful and traffic-driving campaigns" and shortened design lead time, from 15 months to nine months. While it doesn't sound like Lauren's event will reach the scale of rival Tommy Hilfiger's super-hyped Gigi Hadid collection and social media-friendly carnival, that over-the-top event might serve as a model in Ralph Lauren's quest for buzz that converts directly to sales.
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