The New York-born brand is exploring luxury leadership under the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton umbrella.
French holding corporation LVMH is in discussions with Ralph Lauren about acquiring the company, according to a report from Axios. Exploratory conversations have reportedly been happening for years, with the famous U.S. fashion label currently holding a market cap of over $9 billion.
Born in the Bronx, designer Ralph Lifshitz started The Ralph Lauren Corporation in 1967 at the tender age of 28. Imagining the Polo line through his love of lifestyle and sport, he created his first collection only a year later. Since the start, Ralph Lauren has remained rooted in New York while becoming a universal phenomenon.
However, an acquisition from LVMH could create an even wider world for Ralph Lauren.
LVMH was founded in France by Bernard Arnault, Alain Chevalier, and Henry Racamier in 1987, and came to be by bringing together Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy — as the acronym suggests.
Over the course of its 34-year run, LVMH has steadily landed major acquisitions. In 2017, LVMH gained full control of Christian Dior for the cool price of $13 billion. Big-dollar ownership deals have also materialized with Givenchy, and in recent years, American brands such as Fenty, Marc Jacobs, and Tiffany & Co. have come under the LVMH umbrella.
While all entities are major players in the world of luxury, few hold a candle to the reach and resonance of Ralph Lauren.
As Axios points out, Ralph Lauren is still thriving, as its recent third-quarter earnings beat estimates. The notion of an American brand being bought by LVMH is a major co-sign in the world of international luxury. While LVMH previously had hesitations about U.S. acquisitions due to domestic differences in approach, the success of Tiffany may be changing that notion.
Under the ownership of LVMH, Ralph Lauren could improve upon an already booming business and image by repositioning through this acquisition.
LVMH is well known for its high-margin luxury goods that create conversation and boost the bottom line. Hypebeast notes that these discussions have been in the works for two years, making one wonder just when Ralph Lauren could be joining Fendi, Kenzo, and Celine in Arnault’s world of opulence.