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Fashion

Coach changes name to Tapestry to broaden image after Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman acquisitions

CEO Victor Luis says company has made a ‘commitment to be approachable’ as fashion house builds a multibrand company at a time when the handbag industry is facing waning demand

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 October, 2017, 1:31pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 October, 2017, 2:27pm

Coach, the iconic New York purveyor of leather goods, is changing its corporate name to Tapestry, in a bid to broaden its image after acquiring the Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman brands.

“We are now at a defining moment in our corporate reinvention,” chief executive officer Victor Luis said Wednesday in a statement. “In Tapestry, we found a name that speaks to creativity, craftsmanship, authenticity and inclusivity on a shared platform.”

Stuart Vevers having fun turning Coach from bags to fashion brand

The fashion house is building a multibrand company at a time when the handbag industry is facing waning demand and retailers are struggling with declining traffic at brick-and-mortar stores. Coach bought Kate Spade earlier this year and shoemaker Stuart Weitzman in 2015 to grow into a broader lifestyle company.

The Coach brand is not going anywhere, even as the company changes its corporate identity. But executives are striving to show that they are not dependent on the Coach business to fuel growth.

The name was partly aimed at reducing the confusion that consumers have over the Coach and Kate Spade brands, Luis said in an interview.

“When Coach was one brand, that was very easy – the company and the brand were one of the same,” he said. “That’s no longer the case.”

Founded in 1941, Coach has relied on its New York heritage and prestige to fend off European imports. However, sales began to dwindle in recent years amid competition from Kate Spade and Michael Kors.

Coach has been selling less to department stores, a channel battered by deep discounts.

The company has also stepped up its digital marketing efforts and signed up actress and singer Selena Gomez as brand ambassador to build buzz.

The Tapestry name, wrapped in a yellow “happy colour”, is supposed to project a bright and fresh image, Luis said.

Coach’s Stuart Vevers, the British designer behind a very American luxury brand

“We made a commitment to be approachable,” he said. “It’s not something so exclusive and off-putting, but quite inviting.”