Joshua Schulman’s deep brand-building prowess and retail expertise will be valuable for the 75-year-old Coach brand as it enters the next phase of its transformation — and makes a major play for the shoe market.
The executive — who was named president and CEO of Coach today after spending five years at the helm of Bergdorf Goodman — clearly understands the ins and outs of developing a global business. During his previous stint at Jimmy Choo, Schulman helped engineer major growth at the British luxe brand by rolling out a number of innovative product initiatives, attention-grabbing collaborations and new global stores.
Schulman, who will join Coach in June, also understands the importance of developing strong partnerships with the creative talent he works with. Stuart Vevers, the visible creative director at Coach, has moved rapidly to modernize Coach, and Schulman will play an important role in helping to execute that vision.
“I have been very impressed with the evolution of Coach under Stuart Vevers’s creative direction and Victor Luis’s leadership,” said Schulman in a statement. “I look forward to working with the talented global teams at Coach to build on this transformation, driving growth and relevance for the iconic brand across product categories, channels and geographies.”
Schulman’s passion for footwear will certainly help fuel the segment. Coach brought the category back in-house last year, after ending a lengthy licensing agreement with Global Brands, and is readying a relaunch. (Luis — who will take the stage at the FN CEO Summit in Miami next month — said last year that he believes there’s big potential for shoes going forward.)
The company’s top executive is excited about Schulman taking the reins of the brand, which reported net sales of $1.2 billion in the first quarter.
“I’ve known Josh for many years and had always hoped to attract him to Coach,” Luis said in a statement. “He lives and breathes our industry and brings a unique blend of brand-building and broad retail experience to the company, making him the ideal person for this newly created role. I couldn’t be more excited to have Josh lead the Coach brand.”