Ralph Lauren's Run Comes To An End

Polo Ralph Lauren's long run of record-breaking profits may have ended. For the first quarter, the company's profits fell by 36%, year-on-year, to $73 million. (For basis of comparison, from the first quarter of '09 to the first quarter of '10, Polo Ralph Lauren's profits rose by a whopping 153%.) In fact, the company had such an incredible run of good numbers last year that although Ralph Lauren made just under $1 billion by selling a chunk of his stock in July, if he'd waited till just November, he could have made $1.25 billion. That's how quickly the company's value was rising. So, what were the main culprits? The cost of cotton is high — although it has been nearing historic highs for about a year now — and the earthquake in Japan disrupted retail sales in that country. Operating expenses rose 12% overall. Also, and just because we can, let's blame excessively Photoshopped ads. [WWD, WSJ]


Ralph Lauren's Run Comes To An End Abbey Lee Kershaw rocks a combination bright green and smoky eye on the new cover of Vogue Japan. [FGR ]
Ralph Lauren's Run Comes To An End And Isabeli Fontana is looking pretty smoking — and not a little like Linda Evangelista — on the cover of Vogue Paris. [BeautyIsDiverse ]
Ralph Lauren's Run Comes To An End Something called Dorian magazine exists, and it put Baptiste Giabiconi on its cover. Check out that Situation -worthy pouf, and the feather boa. [MaleModelScene ]
Ralph Lauren's Run Comes To An End The new issue of Richardson magazine features Stoya (shot by Steven Klein ) and her extremely impressive abs on the cover. Inside is an essay by photojournalist Tim Hetherington about sex, death, and the sexualization of war. (Hetherington was recently killed in Libya.) Editor Andrew Richardson has this theory on why fashion magazines have been getting, to use Style.com's phrase, "more porny": "I think part of the reason for all of that, too, was that magazines have, in the last decade or so, become more and more the creatures of their advertisers. You'd sign up for a shoot, and find out that 90 percent of it was going to be dictated to you. 'Credits.' I think people began leaning on sexuality as a way to make the images exciting, in an environment where there wasn't as much room to be creative with the fashion." [Style.com ]
Ralph Lauren's Run Comes To An End Anthropologie knocked off those orthopedic slide sandals (popular among hipsters) made by Worishofer. [Racked ]
  • The white dress that Lady Gaga wore in the Mugler runway show failed to sell during the Mugler sale on Gilt Groupe. Priced at $20,000, it kept on disappearing into people's carts, but nobody ever pulled the trigger. [The Cut]
  • Dita Von Teese tints her eyebrows with Just For Men. [T]
  • Martin Filler winds up for his review of the Met's <strong>"McQueen: Savage Beauty" exhibit by offering this tidbit about Anna Wintour: "Nearly twenty-five years ago I was called into the office of Anna Wintour, my boss during her brief interregnum at House & Garden magazine before she ascended to fashion glory as editor-in-excelsis of Vogue. 'You use too many adjectives,' she told me. 'I don't like adjectives. That's all.'" As for the actual review, Filler's pretty down on what he sees as McQueen's sadism and misogyny: "More profoundly disturbing is McQueen's undeniable misogynistic streak, displayed in dresses and shoes that bind and hobble; repeated references to women being stabbed, sliced, and diced (and occasionally reassembled); women as impassive sex dolls; and videos showing models being burned at the stake, forcibly abducted, or in sundry states of extreme physical and psychic distress. Among the most unpleasant of these coups de théâtre, his Fall 1998 couture collection, entitled Joan, climaxed with an all-too-lifelike re-enactment of The Maid of Orleans going up in flames. McQueen became defensive when accused of glamorizing anti-female violence, but no amount of rationalization can contradict what our eyes tell us." [NYRB]
  • Plum Sykes, by all evidence one of Anna Wintour's favorite writers, has this to say about Kate Middleton's wedding dress: "I was really pleased that she chose Alexander McQueen because it made her look like she's got great taste." [The Cut]
  • E-commerce ventures — particularly Gilt Groupe and its various sites — have been hiring editors and writers from real magazines and newspapers to craft what is referred to by all involved invariably as "content." Ruth Reichl agreed to head new food-selling site Gilt Taste on the promise that Gilt wanted to do "real journalism." Another writer says Gilt pays better than the New York Times. [WWD]
  • The South Korean government, which had threatened to revoke permission for Fendi to stage a fashion show on the Han river if it included any fur garments, has relented. Luxury brand, 1; Government, 0. [Independent]
  • Susan Orlean doesn't like the term "Mom jeans." She thinks it is unfair to moms. [New Yorker]
  • Supermodel Erin Wasson, whose short-lived line for RVCA was wound down even before her contract with the brand was up, has collaborated on a capsule collection with Zadig & Voltaire. [WWD]
  • Kate Moss has paid $11 million for a new house in London. [Daily Mail]
  • Anne Vyalitsyna was the face of Chanel's Chance perfume ten years ago, when she was 15, and she's the face of it now again. You can watch both ads here. Amazingly, they're both really cheesy. [JustJared]
  • Vladimir Doronin, the married Russian billionaire Naomi Campbell's been seeing, reportedly threw her a surprise 41st birthday party on his yacht. [P6]
  • In this creepy scene from the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Gemma Ward, playing a mermaid, sings a song to lure some sailors to their death. [Fashionologie]
  • According to a survey, 43% of American women would give up Facebook to have a model's body. [Mercury News]
  • Diane von Furstenberg is launching a perfume called Diane. [WWD]
  • Anna Sui likes the Hispanic Society of America museum. Cool. [TFI]
  • Catherine Malandrino's label may be acquired by Kellwood. [WWD]
  • Charlotte Stockdale is reportedly replacing Edward Enninful at i-D. [Fashionologie]
  • Same-store sales fell 8% year-on-year during the first quarter at American Eagle. [WWD]
  • The C.E.O. of Coach says that men in Asia represent 25% of the market for handbags and accessories, whereas in the rest of the world, men comprise only 15% of that market. [TBI]
  • Pacific Sunwear lost slightly more money this quarter than the same period last year — $31.5 million versus $31 million — despite racking up a slight increase in same-store sales. [WWD]
  • Express had a good quarter. Profits rose to $35 million, from $30 million one year ago. Same-store sales rose 8%. [WWD]