This morning, accessories giant Coach announced that Reed Krakoff, its executive creative director and president of sixteen years, plans to let his contract expire in 2014. According to WWD, he wants to focus all his attention on his eponymous luxury brand, which he officially launched in 2010. Coach has already started looking for his replacement.
This split sounds amicable — they're announcing it over a year in advance, after all — but it'll be particularly tricky because Krakoff's label is technically owned by Coach. They operate out of the same headquarters on 34th Street, and Krakoff manages both brands from the same office. According to WWD, Coach is working to extricate the two lines:
The New York-based accessories firm indicated that it is exploring “strategic options” for the Reed Krakoff brand that “may involve a sale to a group, in which Krakoff would participate.”
Krakoff first joined Coach in 1996 under the leadership of longtime CEO Lewis Frankfort, and is credited with taking Coach from what was originally a small, family-owned business chiefly known for fine leather belts and wallets to an international, publicly owned company with locations in malls across America. Coach now sells everything from swimsuits to raincoats to fragrance, earning Krakoff many accolades for his branding prowess.
Krakoff announced plans for his eponymous luxury brand in 2009, and its February 2010 runway debut was met with tough criticism. WWD called it "heavy” and “clunky," Suzy Menkes deemed it "a work in progress," and Cathy Horyn "couldn’t identify a specific design imperative." But his accessories sold well, and one year later, he opened a fantastically luxurious flagship on Madison Avenue. Around the same time, Krakoff was subjected to a rather spectacular profile in The New Yorker that detailed, among other things, a bathroom in his Upper East Side home that was "covered entirely in golden snakeskin and contains a spheroid toilet."
Despite these minor bruises, Krakoff's namesake line eventually won over its detractors, and he received a CFDA Award for Best Accessory Designer of the Year in 2012. Beloved by editors, celebrities, and Michelle Obama (and Ann Romney too), Krakoff recently dressed the FLOTUS for her second official White House portrait as well as her April Vogue cover.
While his break from Coach may be a complicated one, Krakoff is clearly too good at branding to let it falter. What's more, it could benefit the label's high-end image to disassociate itself with the mass-market company that Coach has become. But the biggest question remains: What will a post-Krakoff Coach look like?
Most Viewed Stories
Josh Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s Brother-in-Law, Was Reportedly Spotted at the Women’s March
A Scene from the D.C. Women’s March
Bernie Sanders Wore the Only Appropriate Outfit to Trump’s Inauguration
Taylor Swift Won’t Save Us From Donald Trump
The Greatest Signs From the Women’s March
Madonna to Women’s March Detractors: ‘F*ck You’
16 of the Cutest Kids at the Women’s March
Over 1 Million New York Women Will Have Access to Free Contraception and Abortions
Pro-Choice and Pro-Life Marchers Came Face-to-Face at the Women’s March
6 Compelling Things Gloria Steinem Said at the Women’s March
From Our Partners
Who What Wear
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCiara's Wedding Dress Was Too Big for the Chapel
To be fair, it was a 13 foot-long dress.You and Rihanna Will Both Want to Invest in Dior’s New Bag
It's got something for everyone.Polo Shirts Have Turned Their Back on Ryan Lochte
Along with his other major sponsors.Ryan Lochte Will No Longer Be Paid to Wear Tiny Bathing Suits
Speedo remains committed to transparency.Laura Brown Is the New Editor-in-Chief of InStyle
After 11 years at Harper’s Bazaar.Tyra Banks Is Going to Teach a Class on Smizing at Stanford
"If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."This Floating Pier Is the Most Zen Installation Ever
Walking on water in Italy.Nation Is Appalled by Matt Lauer’s Nude Ankles During Ryan Lochte Interview
What’s the opposite of “Jeah”?8 People at the Life of Pablo Pop-up Explain Why Kanye West Is a God
"I mean, Kanye West is just Kanye West. There's not more or less you can say about Kanye West. He's just Mr. West!"A T-shirt Is Enough
Simplicity, versatility, and cool. What more could you want?
She took a perfect pencil dive off a 30-foot yacht.American Apparel Is Being Sued by Former Workers
As the company considers putting itself up for sale.A Gendered History of the Tailored Suit
From Marlon Brando to Coco Chanel.How Zendaya Developed Such Great Style at the Young Age of 19
The star's best looks from Disney to now.Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter
Is this the best they could do?5,300-Year-Old Mummified Iceman Probably Would’ve Been a Street-Style Star
He had several different looks and was “pretty picky.”J.Crew Has Identified 226 Shades of Pink
Even more than there are shades of gray.Gigi and Bella Hadid Merch Is Now Somehow a Thing That Is Happening
Today in Hadidiana.Gird Your Loins for the Return of Yeezy to New York Fashion Week
The season approaches.This Indie Brand Had a Great Response to Ivanka Trump
When she bought one of their cuffs, they donated the proceeds to the Clinton campaign.