Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s outgoing Senior Vice President of Retail, has detailed her plans for life after Apple at Ralph Lauren’s fashion show Thursday morning, revealing that she is planning to enjoy some traveling before making any new commitments.
‘I plan to take the summer off,’ said Ahrendts, who declined to disclose what type of job she’d be interested in next, according to WWD.
So, where does she want to travel?
On her agenda are a Rwanda mission and visiting two of her children in London. Ahrendts said that throughout her marriage, her husband has constantly been moving with her to London and then San Francisco, and now it’s time for him to get a turn.
This sounds just about right to me. Prior reports and her recent interviews have hinted at this. She has apparently been increasingly homesick after relocating to California.
Vogue’s Suze Menkes, on Instagram last week:
I had to ask Angela Ahrendts this question: did she miss fashion after giving up Burberry five years ago to take on Apple retail?
There was a significant pause before she answered:
‘I loved fashion for 40 years. It is wonderful when you know everything there is to know about the industry, because you grew up in it. I’ve been gone from London almost five years. I have two kids there—they were at university when we moved and they decided to stay. My son is a budding musician with an honors degree in song writing and my daughter has an honors degree in marketing—she works for a start up magazine and he does gigs round London and writes great music! I miss them, obviously. It’s such a great city and we try to make it back as much as we can. But California is not so bad!’
A report earlier this week by 9to5Mac‘s Michael Steeber indicated that Ahrendts wasn’t really interested in taking the reins of another company following her Apple exit.
The Financial Times speculated today that Ahrendts could actually be headed to Ralph Lauren.
There is more grist for this rumour-milling than is generally the case in fashion. That’s both because of the garmento pedigree of Ahrendts—and most specifically her spectacular 8-year tenure as chief executive at Burberry where the brand’s market value more than tripled, from £2.1 billion to £7 billion—and the state of New York fashion right now.
New York fashion has been through quite a turmoil lately.
One of its major marquee brands, Calvin Klein, is absent—its chief creative officer Raf Simons left abruptly in December, eight months before his contract finished. The label, part of PVH Corp, will not show this week. Its flagship store at 645 Madison Avenue—the only standalone Calvin Klein store in the world—is also set to shutter and the entire label to be restructured, at a hefty estimated pre-tax cost of $120 million. Understandably, a fashion show is probably the last thing on their mind.
Fashion, however, seems to be on Ahrendts’ mind.
Last month she gave an interview to the new digital title Vogue Business—which in itself could be a loaded statement. She said she misses fashion. She wore a Ralph Lauren suit.
This is of note because she’s served on Lauren’s board since last August. “Angela is an industry leader and innovator with deep expertise in luxury retail and an outstanding track record of growing global brands,” said Lauren himself, in welcoming her.
The report claims that Christopher Bailey—who worked alongside Ahrendts at Burberry—is also rumored to be joining Ralph Lauren. Notably, Christopher became Burberry’s CEO following Ahrendts’ departure for Apple in 2014. He left Burberry four years later at the end of 2018.
According to a message by CEO Tim Cook, addressed to Apple’s retail teams, Angela intends to step back from day-to-day management and lead a quieter life going forward.
The 58-year-old executive used to be Burberry’s CEO before joining Apple to revitalize its aging retail stores and consolidate retail operations. She spent five years with the Cupertino giant before announcing she would be leaving her post in April of this year.
Taking Ahrendt’s place is 30-year Apple veteran Deirdre O’Brien, who will now be leading both the Cupertino company’s human-resources division and the retail segment.
Where do you think Angela will turn up next?
Let us know in the comments down below.