Two months after Reed Krakoff announced that he was leaving Coach to focus on his eponymous brand, his successor has been announced: It's Stuart Vevers, former creative director of Loewe, a Spanish-based fashion house owned by LVMH, WWD reports. The appointment follows some rather far-fetched speculations about who might take the spot, including Mulberry's newly jobless Emma Hill, Chloé’s Clare Waight Keller, Derek Lam, Phillip Lim, Kate Spade's Deborah Lloyd, and even Marc Jacobs. Hey, these names made Coach look good! It's surprising the brand didn't let the rumors percolate for longer.
Krakoff's contract with Coach will expire in June 2014, but he's previously said he may exit earlier if his successor is ready. Vevers's exact start date hasn't been decided yet, per WWD, but the brand probably wants him in soon. Remember, they're also in the midst of transitioning another major executive role: Longtime CEO Lew Frankfort will retire in January, when the company's current president, Victor Luis, will take over his job (Frankfort will stay on as Coach's executive chairman). They've got plenty of time to iron things out, sure, but these are very large moving parts to coordinate.
So, who is this Stuart Vevers? He's helmed Loewe for five years and was previously the creative director of Mulberry from 2005 to 2008 (so there's at least some Emma Hill connection). Earlier in his career, he cut his teeth at Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Bottega Veneta, and Calvin Klein — all brands with thriving accessories lines, as well as notable ready-to-wear collections. Loewe (pronounced lo-way-vay, not like the home-improvement store) is famous in Europe and Asia for their very expensive Amazona bags, but it's not widely known in the U.S. because they only broke into the New York market three years ago. Perhaps Vevers's appointment signals a shift to a more Europe- and Asia-friendly sensibility at Coach.