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April 24 2014

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21 posts tagged "Coach"

Learning To Reed

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When Coach CEO Lewis Frankfort made the controversial decision to hire Reed Krakoff (pictured) as the company’s executive creative director in 1996, the board told him, “It’s your funeral you’re planning if you hire that kid.” Just over 15 years later, Krakoff has risen to the role of president (while retaining his original title as well) and is credited with steering the company from a $500 million American powerhouse to a $5 billion global brand. “The funny thing is that no one ever asked me if I’d designed a bag before,” said Krakoff Wednesday night at New York’s French Institute/Alliance Française, where he delivered the first of this season’s Fashion Talks series. (Next up at FIAF: Stefano Pilati and Dries Van Noten.)

After he was introduced by Elle editor in chief Robbie Myers, Krakoff described both his work at Coach and at the namesake designer label he created in 2010. The distinction he drew was between working with just a handful of designers at Reed Krakoff versus working as Coach’s “design architect” overseeing a team of hundreds (though he assured the audience that he personally approves every piece). “It’s very much like finding the code, or an algorithm for success,” he said of designing for Coach. “It’s based on balancing what came before to understand what must come next. It’s really a giant puzzle.” As for designing his own label, he admitted that he sometimes has to edit himself. “You need to be able to do what the business needs but keep it in line with what people will like. You can’t always just do what’s best for the creative good,” he said.

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Pulling A Kramer

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Alex Kramer was a staple in the society pages during the mid-aughts, swanning around charity galas in beautiful gowns. But these days you’re likelier to find Kramer scrutinizing fabrics in a makeshift home atelier, working on her new eponymous clothing line, which touches down exclusively on the sixth floor of Barneys today. Her debut Spring collection, ranging from $250 to $1,100, features refined basics like sleek knit sheaths with lambskin paneling and sporty cigarette trousers. “I hate to use the word ‘useful,’ but it’s stuff you want to wear every day,” Kramer, who previously worked as head of visuals for Luxuryfinder.com and designed a capsule collection for Carlos Miele before launching her own line, told Style.com at a showroom preview.

For Fall (which will be sold to other retailers in addition to Barneys), Kramer and co-designer Brian Stanziale (who hails from Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Coach) articulated the well-received leather-detailed T-shirts and expanded offerings with on-trend, croc-embossed cardigans as well as practical outerwear. Noteworthy here was a cashmere-blend coat with a detachable silver fox fur collar. “I didn’t really buy anything this year, so this second collection was really about the pieces I personally want and need,” said Kramer.

Photo: Courtesy of Alex Kramer

Coach’s Card Shark

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Coach’s latest trump card? Hugo Guinness. To celebrate its recent teamwork with the British linocut artist, the brand threw a casino-themed bash at the Jane Hotel ballroom last night, complete with a blackjack table, an illusionist, and a house-of-cards builder—a nod to the fact that the collaboration, in addition to leather goods, includes a very covetable deck of hand-drawn Coach playing cards. Guinness quietly occupied a banquette area while Maria Cornejo chatted with friends nearby and Lisa Marie Fernandez tried her luck at roulette. (She only recently got the bug, Fernandez said: “I just got back from the Chanel party in Las Vegas and I won big!”)

For the collaboration, which makes use of both original and archival images, Guinness explained that he’d briefly given up his normal routine of working at home in Brooklyn in order to take meetings at Coach’s Madison Avenue headquarters. Office life, he confessed, seems like a world apart. “It’s very different, isn’t it? There’s a whole protocol there—people come in, and then they disappear again, and you don’t know why they’ve come in,” he said. “It’s just weird, it’s a different world.” But it may start to feel familiar soon enough—Guinness and the brand are already thinking about doing a second project, potentially for the holiday season.

Photo: Courtesy of Coach

The 12 Days Of Christmas: Day 10

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My work—my life—often feels like a big pile of papers that have slipped out of whatever order I originally put them in. That’s why I can’t resist this snappy, decidedly disciplined Coach briefcase. It contains all that confusion and profusion, almost mercilessly. It recalls an age of less overflow. Coach has offered it for a few years, but this holiday season it’s also available in a shade of green that puts me in mind of desk blotters and pool-table felt—not an everyday color, to be sure, but as a freelancer, I’m not carrying a briefcase that often anyway. That said, the more I admire the discreet brass hardware and suede-lined secondary compartments, though, the readier I am to rethink that. The briefcase bit, I mean.

Coach textured leather attaché, $598, available at www.coach.com.

Photo: Coach.com

Paltrow’s Coach Shots To Debut, Giorgio Armani’s Favorite Is Jenny From The Block, Karl Is Coming Soon Macy’s, And More…

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Actress, mom, author, singer, and chef are a few of Gwyneth Paltrow’s jobs these days. Photos from one of her newest roles, as the international ambassador of Coach, have finally been released, and she’s looking like the ultra American girl. The Peter Lindbergh-shot ads are set to roll out internationally, but unfortunately, they will never be in print on U.S. soil. [WWD]

Giorgio Armani truly knows how to make performers get a standing ovation, at least for the way they are dressed. The designer picked out his top five musical moments for W. Jennifer Lopez topped the list in her pink Armani Privé dress from the 2010 Academy Awards. [W]

Vivienne Westwood’s oldest son, Ben, is joining forces with Savile Row tailor Cad & the Dandy for a ready-to-wear collection. Westwood, who showed his menswear collection for the first time at last year’s London fashion week, plans to add his “signature edge” to the line, known for their bespoke suits. [Vogue.U.K.]

Soon you can get your Lagerfeld look at Macy’s. Although the collaborative efforts between Macy’s and the designer were officially announced last November, new details on the collection were released today. Expect high collars and “edgier, rock ‘n’ roll looks” available at Macy’s prices, hitting stores at the end of August. We have yet to find out if a version of Lagerfeld’s signature black gloves is included in the offerings. [WWD]

Photo: WWD.com