Coach’s Reed Krakoff announced today that he’s stepping down from the role of creative director to focus on his namesake luxury label. While Krakoff’s contract with the brand doesn’t end until the summer of 2014, he’ll be working on an advisory basis until then. Which means that Coach’s search for a new creative director is most certainly under way.
Krakoff’s partnership with Coach’s retiring CEO Lew Frankfort lasted a remarkable 16 years, and launched the leather-goods label into a new financial stratosphere. In 1996, when Krakoff came on board, sales were $500 million. In 2012, they reached almost $4.8 billion. Frankfort’s successor, Victor Luis, is already in place. (And a longtime member of the Coach team.) Whomever is brought on to replace Krakoff will have to be able to handle the tremendous financial pressure being a public company brings, but also help to expand Coach’s brand beyond handbags. Clothing, in particular, is an area where there is tremendous opportunity for growth, both abroad in and the US.
But who will it be? We’re sure Coach will search internally first, and that the search may end there. But it’s fun to consider outsiders. Here are our semi-educated suggestions for whom Coach should appoint as its next creative director. What do you think?