Rapha, nice but a bit pricey?

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  • Probably after I DM’d him to put a baby changing table in the Soho store 😂

  • As you are one of Rapha’s closest and most supportive friends, I wanted you to be the first to know that, after founding Rapha 17 years ago and managing the brand since then, I have taken the decision to step down as CEO in the new year.

    I will step down from my Chief Executive role but will remain very close to the brand. I will continue to serve on the Rapha Board of Directors and will continue to play a role as Founder. Just as importantly, I will continue to ride my bike with the same passion that led me to establish Rapha in the first place, as I worked to give cycling the inspiring and visionary force that it so richly deserved.

    As I step down, I will be handing over the leadership of the company to William Kim. William is a Korean American who has worked at amazing brands like Gucci, Burberry and AllSaints over the last three decades.

    This is clearly a very important step for me and for Rapha but I am convinced that it is the right time for me to step down and for Rapha to have a new CEO with the skills and experience to take advantage of the huge opportunity Rapha faces. William is equally as passionate as I am about the Rapha brand and our opportunity to inspire the world to live life by bike.

    I look forward to introducing you to William and to riding with you at one of Rapha’s events very soon.

  • hi simon, good luck in your next adventure. pls make rapha do coloured shakedrys before you leave thank you in advance

  • William is a Korean American

    this is a little strange

    "Simon is an anglo saxon"

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  • how come dancing james gets a personalised message but none of the rest of us do

  • Email to RCC members (and media too I assume). Being replaced by William Kim, formerly of All Saints and other fashion brands.

  • Does he like biking?

  • I actually lolled at this

  • Also thought that was well off when i read it

  • He looks even fatter than me, so I would say no

  • I assumed it was some sort of corporate "Look, we're bringing in diversity" thing. So yes... a bit strange.

  • I assumed it was how William Kim wanted to be described. It's not unusual for Americans to include heritage in their nationality i.e. African American, Asian American.

  • this is a little strange

    Demonstrative diversity. But like @Scoot says he'll presumably have signed off the email and Americans do tend to talk about race a lot more.

    This was always going to happen when they sold to Walmart, when US companies take over UK ones any British leadership never lasts long. So I wonder if he genuinely jumped or was pushed.

  • What is it 4 years since the acquisition? Seems longer than I would expect for an earn out but that would seem to make sense - especially given COVID. So all in all seems pretty standard founder CEO move to NED board role and new owner favoured CEO steps in

  • i read that as all saints and other fashion bands.
    was about to ask if he was in Steps or Girls Aloud.

  • To be fair, both have experience of movement in tight fitting fabrics so that wouldn’t exclude them from the job.

  • I’m neither an RCC member or work in media but I got the email.

  • It's because you are their highest grossing customer

  • To be expected as with all successful businesses sweeping out the founder eventually.

    Rapha will no doubt end up making better strategic business decisions for growing the brand, however, will also no doubt quicken it's decline from it's core values and serving its cycling community.

  • One of their oldest, I think.

  • It's not about trying to find a smart way of making some margin.

    I wish I'd archived that ancient Design Week (?) article where the founders said quite clearly (and I paraphrase):

    We realised there was a customer base who bought Gucci/Prada etc leisurewear, but there was no nowhere for people to spend anything like as much on cycling clothing, apart from that awful Euro Assos stuff.

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Rapha, nice but a bit pricey?

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