When Victor Luis took the top job at Tapestry Inc. (then Coach Inc.) in 2014, his intentions were clear: To build a house of powerful, accessible luxury brands and a culture with a distinct corporate identity. In a short time, he’s done both.
As it continues to transform, Tapestry stands out for another big reason — two of its three brands now have female CEOs.
Today, longtime footwear force Anna Bakst was named CEO of Kate Spade. Bakst — who headed Michael Kors’ shoe and accessories business for many years — will join Tapestry on Monday, succeeding Craig Leavitt, who announced his departure last year. (Bakst will team up with recently appointed creative director Nicola Glass.)
Meanwhile, Stuart Weitzman continues to be led on the business side by Wendy Kahn, who joined Tapestry in 2016 and has quickly put her own stamp on the brand.
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It’s notable that Luis brought on two powerful women — both of whom have worked tirelessly to climb the corporate ladder — to lead a pair of successful labels that have been fueled by female consumers for decades.
“There’s something really great happening [at Tapestry],” said one longtime shoe executive after the Bakst news was revealed.
Make no mistake, women are revolutionizing the industry like never before. However, there is still a dearth of female execs in high-ranking roles at many of the biggest shoe brands — and it’s a big concern.
At Tapestry, women are definitely in power — and more companies should follow in the firm’s footsteps.