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Designer Reed Krakoff No Longer CEO, But Remains Creative Force

Reed Krakoff - Runway - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014

Reed Krakoff has stepped down as chief executive officer of his eponymous fashion label but will remain creative director, a report said.

The news came out when the company confirmed that Harlan Bratcher, formerly of A/X Armani Exchange, has been hired as the new CEO of the New York-based fashion label, Upstart Business Journal said.

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The move comes after Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) reported in December that Krakoff will be giving more attention to accessories, especially lower-priced, contemporary styles — a price range he enjoyed a great deal of success with during his 16-year tenure at Coach. His eponymous label has focused on the luxury category to date, with bags typically costing in the range of $1, 200 to $3, 000, said.

The fashion designer told WWD that Bratcher will help him and the board build a long-term strategy for the brand, as well as lead the company and the executive team in day-to-day operations and ongoing development, the Journal said.

During his Coach tenure, Krakoff started his own brand aimed at the luxury shopper in 2010, launching it within the company. It gained traction with consumers and when it came time to renew his contract with Coach itself, Krakoff chose not to. He then bought his brand from Coach in July 2013 in a buyout deal that was reportedly valued at $50 million, in which he had the largest stake, according to the Journal.

Krakoff appointed himself CEO in February 2014 following the departure of president and CEO Valérie Hermann, who went to Ralph Lauren. Stacy Van Praagh became president in May 2014 but left the company six months later.

A renewed focus on accessories means that Krakoff will not show a ready-to-wear collection for fall 2015, though he will produce one. He plans to host the opening of a new SoHo store during New York Fashion week instead, said.




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