Reed Krakoff Steps Down as Creative Director of Coach

By  April 23, 2013

After a 16-year partnership, Reed Krakoff is stepping down as Coach’s Creative Director.

Krakoff originally joined with the brand in 1996 and helped the business blossom from focusing on leather goods to a “global lifestyle brand, anchored in accessories” that it is today in order to concentrate on his own label that has taken off since Coach helped launch the line in 2010. “I’m excited to focus exclusively on the RK brand and to embark on the next phase of my career, “ he told Women’s Wear Daily. “It’s relatively recent [that I made this decision], I’ve been so focused on Coach and the RK brand for the last bunch of years.”

The designer will serve out the rest of his contract as an advisor to the company as it restructures and preps for its “next evolution.” The accessories brand has started searching for a new creative director but no names have surfaced yet.

The creative director’s work has already left an impression on not only the brand but fashion plates as well. Earlier this month, Krakoff received the 2013 American Art Award from New York’s Whitney Museum for his commitment to art. But his biggest splash has been Michelle Obama, who wore one of his designs for her second Vogue cover as well as during the inauguration.

As a result of his success with both labels, plans are in place to explore strategic options for Krakoff’s line that might involve a sale that he would be a part of that would help to create a global presence and maybe move into menswear. “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,” he explained. “It’s really to leverage the desire that we already see.”