When Reed Krakoff, the eponymous luxury label designed by Coach's former creative director, announced in March that it would be "suspend[ing] all future design and production" and shutting down its stores — including one opened in New York's Soho neighborhood just weeks before — many thought the company was over for good.
Not so. On ReedKrakoff.com, there is now a placeholder announcing that the five-year-old brand is "undergoing a thrilling transformation," and that "ReedKrakoff.com will soon have a completely new look and feel." Next to the copy is an assortment of objects — a tote, a black-and-white tee, sunglasses, a watch, silver espadrilles and an iPhone adorned with some sort of sticker — that bear some of Krakoff's signatures, but look decidedly more down-market (or, to borrow WWD's words, "Millennial-targeted") from what the brand was formerly peddling.
A spokesperson for Reed Krakoff did not immediately respond to a request for further information. Krakoff, for his part, declined to offer any details to WWD, only saying: "A lot of exciting things are happening with the brand — stay tuned."
It's not much to go on. But what we do know is that Krakoff has been thinking about moving his brand into lower price tiers for some time. In an interview with Fashionista in February, the designer said it was time to make the label "more available to a broader array of people," adding:
It's something that we've always, from day one, wanted to do. I like the idea of building a luxury brand that's not based on price. For me, that's what luxury is about, it's not the prices — a lot of times people talk too much about price when they talk about luxury, but there are expensive things that are well done, and there are expensive things that are poorly done. For us, it's that idea of design across broader price points, and more distribution, a broader group of people. Not everyone can afford a $2,000 bag, obviously.
Krakoff, of course, already knows the contemporary market well, having served as creative director of Coach between 1997 and 2013. It will be interesting to see how he re-approaches that market on his own terms.