Monday, January 26, 2009

Kate Spade Looks to Recapture Its Old Glory

From WWD.com this morning:

The dust has settled at Kate Spade.

Two years after its $124 million acquisition by Liz Claiborne, the company is out to reclaim its role as a premier accessories brand.

At the helm of the new Kate Spade team are co-presidents Deborah Lloyd and Craig Leavitt, whose plans include updating handbag designs, expanding the firm’s retail and wholesale presence, and launching new product categories and in-store concepts. The brand is looking to double its current sales of $130 million over the next three years.

Despite Lloyd’s and Leavitt’s experience in growing fashion businesses — she helped grow the Burberry London collection under Rose Marie Bravo and inject more fashion into Banana Republic; he helped double Theory’s retail business — some remain skeptical as to whether Claiborne can grow a trend-focused brand like Spade given today’s troubled economy and crowded accessories playing field. Contemporary lines like Rebecca Minkoff and Botkier are appealing to fashion-driven consumers, while J.Crew and Tory Burch are fortifying their accessories focus with a solid infrastructure already intact.

It’s no secret the $4 billion Liz Claiborne has seen its share of trouble recently. The company’s stock fell 86.9 percent last year as it restructured and the banking crisis weighed on markets. Insiders contend Spade can flourish only if run as an independent entity, much the way Claiborne operates its superstar brand, Juicy Couture. Claiborne chief executive officer William L. McComb intends to do just that.

If you have access to WWD.com you can read the remainder of the article here.

3 comments:

La Mom said...

J'adore Kate Spade! Too bad she is completely unknown here in Paris except to a few savvy insiders...

La Mom
An American Mom in Paris

Grove Gals said...

the new spring shoes and wicker bags look great...if only it wasnt 30 degrees out

Muffy said...

This is SUCH exciting news!