After 16 years spent at Coach, Reed Krakoff is leaving his role as president and executive creative director to be able to focus on his own brand. The contract with the brand will expire on June 2014 and will not be renewed. The experienced designer considers the change a new step in his career and is pleased to be able focus more on the on his own projects.
The news seems to have had no effect on Coach as a company. In fact, the company's shares rose by 9.8 percent immediately after the news. As for Reed's Krakoff plans, creating more brand awareness seems to be the leading plan. “We’ve had an amazing reaction to the brand, without much awareness, whether it’s been with Michelle Obama, or on the cover of Vogue or the windows at Saks or Bergdorf’s. It’s really to leverage the desire that we already see,” he told WWD.
The designer's work has been valued by retailers which praise the designer's inclination towards popular designs which sell well. Voices in the industry also say that finding a new creative director will prove a challenge simply because the designer has done such an amazing job and thus raise the bar so high. One of the most vocal statements on the matter comes from Ron Frasch, president and chief merchant of Saks who states:
“I got to know Reed through Coach and was so impressed with Reed and Lew, two of the most professional people in our industry. We launched the brand, and we have done very well. I am pleased for Reed. If this is what he wants, I couldn’t be happier.”
Coach is expressing a similarly positive view of the designer's work. Coach chairman and chief executive Lew Frankfort stated:
"It's been an amazing partnership, both professionally and personally”.
The designer's main contribution was bringing a modern flair to the label, a thing that has greatly improved the label's image so the stakes are high when it comes to replicating such successes. The search for successor for the experienced designer has already began and so did the speculations regarding possible names for the position. No official statement were made on the matter by the luxury label.
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Coach Spring/Summer 2013 Campaign
Photos: Getty Images