Ralph Lauren’s CEO, Patrice Louvet, is leading the iconic fashion brand by embracing the challenges of the modern era. Unlike traditional fashion industry executives, Louvet brings a unique background in beauty, having worked as an executive at Procter & Gamble. This alternative perspective allows him to approach business strategies with a fresh mindset.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Francine Lacqua, Louvet discussed various topics, shedding light on his perspective and strategies for the brand. One point of discussion was the trend of wearing hoodies in the workplace. Louvet noted that although he hasn’t observed many people wearing hoodies at Ralph Lauren, the company’s founder, Ralph Lauren himself, occasionally wears a stylish Polo or double RL hoodie. This demonstrates the brand’s ability to make this casual garment look sophisticated and fashionable.

Sustainability is another key focus for Louvet and Ralph Lauren. He emphasized that sustainability is not just a response to external pressure, but a core value of the brand. Louvet recognizes that timelessness and sustainability go hand in hand. A brand cannot be timeless if it depletes valuable resources. By prioritizing sustainability, Ralph Lauren aims to attract younger consumers who value brands that prioritize the well-being of the planet. Additionally, investors in Europe also value sustainability efforts, making it crucial for business success.

Regarding the trend of recruiting CEOs from the consumer products industry, rather than the luxury sector, Louvet believes that success in fashion lies in finding the right balance between creativity and feasibility. Creative leaders bring the magic to fashion, while executives from the consumer goods industry possess a deeper understanding of consumer needs. By combining designer vision with customer demands and leveraging data, fashion brands can achieve success.

Authenticity is a top priority for Ralph Lauren when selecting celebrities and influencers to collaborate with. Louvet explained that the company does not simply write a big check and expect an endorsement. Instead, they seek individuals who truly connect with the brand’s values and have a genuine relationship with the company.

Louvet also discussed Ralph Lauren’s venture into the metaverse, investing in virtual platforms like Fortnite. By doing so, the brand aims to meet consumers where they are, especially the younger generation, who engage with brands in digital spaces. In Fortnite, Ralph Lauren has created virtual boots for players to dress their avatars, but they have also produced physical versions of these boots for real-life wear.

Describing his leadership style, Louvet identified himself as a listener and learner. He values input from others and believes in measured risk-taking. Louvet encourages innovation, experimentation, and trying new things within the company. This spirit of curiosity and continuous learning drives the company’s energy and fosters an environment of growth.

With Louvet’s unique perspective and leadership style, Ralph Lauren is well-positioned to thrive in the ever-evolving world of fashion. By focusing on sustainability, authenticity, and innovation, the brand looks set to shape the future of the industry.

Useful links:
1. Watch the interview with Patrice Louvet on Bloomberg TV
2. Read about how Ralph Lauren is gaining traction with Gen Z