Ralph Lauren's Rough Ride

Forgetting the company's past triumphs, investors now see Polo as a stock that's slightly out of fashion. But don't count Lauren out

In his antique-laden Madison Avenue office, Ralph Lauren, 59, the most successful fashion designer in American history and CEO of Polo Ralph Lauren, leans forward on a worn leather armchair to tell how much it hurts--the negative reviews of his fall collections and the articles in the business press detailing his company's disappointing earnings and questioning whether Lauren has lost his touch. "I'm the guy who built this company with my bare hands. I've been a big hero in this industry, and I like being a big hero. When the stock goes down, I take it personally."

Lauren points to the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!