When we're in a funk, we go shopping for dresses. When Esprit is having a bad day, they go shopping for entire companies. So which one will they buy? Bloomberg News announced today that the famous sweatshirt company is hunting for a luxury brand. Even though they sell loads of sportswear to Germany and the rest of Europe, they know they've got nothing on TopShop, H&M, or even The Gap in terms of style cred. Their hope is to find a company that makes Esprit look better to designers and fashion folk who might, eventually, pair with the line. Says their president, "I would like to integrate such a brand as a better sister of Esprit and as a role model to access good designers who normally wouldn't want to work for Esprit." Okay, so who should be the cool kid that Esprit wants to be? And - more important - who's a small luxury brand that would be happy with a huge company as a new parent? We know the Proenza boys were in talks with overseas buyers this Spring, and their Target collection showed they can do mass appeal. They might also like the retro kitsch of Esprit sweatshirts, even though Esprit's current line is... well, it's icky. They needed Jack and Laz like, yesterday. Other picks for a pairing: Esprit and Phillip Lim. Esprit and Luella. Esprit and Catherine Malandrino. Esprit and _______?
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Who Should Replace Reed Krakoff at Coach? A Few Suggestions
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?