Following speculation that Apple’s outgoing retail chief Angela Ahrendts might take up a significant role at Ralph Lauren, the fashion firm has now shot down that rumor as unfounded.
9to5Mac’s Michael Steeber got this statement from a Ralph Lauren spokesperson:
There are no plans for Angela Ahrendts to join the company outside of her existing capacity as a board member.
There you have it.
Speculation that Ahrendts may be headed to Ralph Lauren Corporation was put forth by The Financial Times yesterday. The financial newspaper did offer some rationale behind its speculation, arguing that fashion is Ahrendts’ passion and citing her measurable contributions to Burberry as the company’s CEO prior to joining Apple.
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 CEO 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.
The fact that the 58-year-old executive has served on Lauren’s board since last August has only served to fuel speculative reporting on the matter.
In her interview to the new digital title Vogue Business Ahrendts touched on missing the fashion world after giving up Burberry five years ago to take on Apple retail.
“There was a significant pause before she answered,” Vogue’s Suze Menkes wrote on Instagram last week. “I loved fashion for 40 years,” Ahrendts responded. “It is wonderful when you know everything there is to know about the industry, because you grew up in it.”
And this bit about feeling homesick:
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!’
According to WWD, the executive plans to take the summer off but wouldn’t disclose what type of job she’d be interested in next.
Image: Angela delivering retail updates at the October 2018 Apple event