Impossible Is Nothing. – Muhammad Ali
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
Activist, artist, antagonist. Philosopher, poet, promoter. Vietnam War adversary. Civil rights advocate. African-American fighter. Muslim man of peace. Olympic gold medalist. Three-time heavyweight champion of the world. Nothing was impossible for Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. Shortly after winning the heavyweight championship of the world in 1964, Ali was stripped of his title and arrested in 1966 for refusing to participate in the Vietnam War. He fought back to overturn the conviction in the Supreme Court in 1971, and reclaimed the championship at the infamous “Rumble in the Jungle” on October 30, 1974, in Kinshasa, Zaire. He continued his fight against social injustice long past his days as the most celebrated and recognized sporting figure of the past century, and was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Otto Hahn Peace Medal for his efforts to unite a world divided by race, religion and prejudice. Muhammad Ali fought his final round this year and was laid to rest in his hometown of Louisville after battling Parkinson’s disease since 1984.
In a world where we are taught to conform from the day we are born, Muhammad Ali defied conventional wisdom and challenged the status quo. He illuminated a path of innovation and change, acceptance and understanding, hope and justice around the world.
We are inspired by the life and legacy of the man referred to as “The Greatest,” and embrace his words that “Impossible is Nothing.” As a publicly traded company, you’re often rewarded for duplication and punished for innovation, decisions that require some level of short-term pain for long-term gain. We’ve taken our share of punches this past year for standing up for those things we believe in, decisions that will elevate our brand and inspire our customers for years to come. We’ve eliminated the chaos of typical retail promotions with endless and meaningless sales, and moved to a membership model that allows our guests to shop for what they want, when they want, always at 25% off. We delayed the mailing of our Spring Source Books to Fall, allowing us time to remodel the entire house, so to speak, unveiling a revolutionary new design by renowned art director Fabien Baron. The books are filled with stunning collections and pieces that reflect a fresh and contemporary point of view. We are also remodeling all of our Galleries, introducing RH Modern and adding Design Ateliers – integrated workrooms where you can imagine and design your entire home. We continue to challenge current thinking that retail stores are dying and all shopping is moving online. We are creating some of the most innovative and immersive retail experiences in our industry: witness RH Chicago, The Gallery at the Historic Three Arts Club (see the article “My Kind of Town” on page 658 of our Interiors Source Book), a five-story, century-old building we reimagined and restored that blurs the lines between residential and retail, indoors and outdoors, home and hospitality, integrating a restaurant, wine vault, pantry and coffee bar by famed Chicago restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff.
We continue our quest to unite and integrate the ideas of the most forward-thinking people in our industry. The many designers, artisans, architects and manufacturers highlighted throughout the pages of our new Fall Source Books who, like Ali, have challenged conventional wisdom, breaking down stylistic barriers and contributing to an evolving conversation of a new and inspiring way to live.
Thank you, Muhammad, for fighting. Thank you for showing us what is possible when we stand up for what we believe in. Thank you for inspiring us to explore the power we have to change the world, and thank you for changing it so profoundly yourself.
Most of all, thank you for living such a brave and inspiring life and, by doing so, demonstrating
Impossible is Nothing.
Chairman & CEO