With newly-appointed creative director Stuart Vevers soon to take the helm, a new CEO already in place, and a beefed-up ready-to-wear collection set to hit shelves this fall, Coach’s makeover is well underway. The company announced plans to reposition itself as a lifestyle brand at the beginning of 2013, and now it looks like we can expect one more change from the label: A higher price tag.
According to WWD, Victor Luis, who will succeed Lew Frankfort as CEO when Frankfort retires, hinted that Coach may be going in a new, luxe direction.
“You can have a $5,000, $2,000, $3,000 Coach bag in the future,” he told the trade.
The more upmarket positioning may be a way to differentiate the brand from other “affordable luxury” brands like Tory Burch and Michael Kors, each of which have taken a bite out of Coach’s business. WWD notes that both Burch and Kors’s handbags typically sell for less than $600.
While we’re not exactly thrilled with the idea of a price hike, we think it could work in Coach’s favor–especially since new creative director Vevers is an expert of sorts in creating ‘it’ bags; he designed best-sellers at both Mulberry and Loewe before his Coach appointment. And when you think of it that way, charging over $600 for an ‘it’ bag is not that crazy. According to Luis, the brand will keep some lower-priced handbags–but even those will be of “higher value and quality.”
Other things to expect from Vevers and Luis: A continued focus on the brand’s heritage, and an invigoration of its men’s business.
“One day, men’s will be a billion-dollar business for Coach,” said Frankfort.