Retail in Asia


Ralph Lauren homes in on Asia with Wei Zhang board appointment

U.S. fashion label Ralph Lauren announced on Wednesday the appointment of Wei Zhang to its board of directors, effective November 9.

An expert in the Asian market, Zhang worked for China’s Alibaba Group from 2008 until 2022. Most recently, she served as senior advisor and president of Alibaba pictures group. Prior that, she held positions within Alibaba group as senior vice president across investment and acquisition, corporate strategy and also led Alibaba’s corporate social responsibility initiatives.

“Wei’s blend of experience and knowledge in international operations – in particular Asia, business development, media and digital transformation, make her a timely and relevant addition to the Ralph Lauren board of directors,” said Patrice Louvet, president and chief executive officer.

Before joining Alibaba, Zhang also held positions at News Corp China, CNBC China, consulting firm Bain & Company and at global conglomerate General Electric.

“I’ve always admired Ralph Lauren’s purpose that inspires people to dream and live the life they want to live,” said Zhang.

“I look forward to joining their esteemed board of directors, supporting the iconic brand to deliver on their ‘Next Great Chapter: Accelerate’ strategy.”

With the election of Zhang, the Ralph Lauren board is now comprised of 13 directors

“One of the many strengths of our company is the people who make up our teams, including the members of our board,” said Ralph Lauren, executive chairman and chief creative officer. “I look forward to learning from Wei, who shares a passion for storytelling, innovation and entrepreneurialism – each representing core values for our brand.”

Asia continues to be a market of growth for Ralph Lauren. In its most recent trading update, the American brand said Asia revenue in the second quarter increased 17 percent to USD 316 million on a reported basis and 33 percent in constant currency.

Likewise, comparable store sales in Asia increased 25 percent, with a 25 percent increase in the company’s brick-and-mortar stores and a 22 percent increase in digital commerce.