Kate Spade today announced the appointment of a new CEO, Liz Fraser, who replaces Anna Bakst who left the company at the end of 2019.
Fraser is expected to join the Tapestry house of brands on March 1 and work alongside the label’s creative director, Nicola Glass, among other internal leaders.
Fraser previously held the role of president of Lafayette 148, following stints at Anne Klein and Marc by Marc Jacobs. In her previous roles, she oversaw design and merchandising for apparel and accessories.
Since acquiring Kate Spade in 2017, Tapestry has initiated a number of strategies to boost the brand’s sales and elevate its positioning, including introducing new categories, reducing its distribution in outlet and discount channels and feting its first in-house footwear collection for spring ’20. It also set out to slow the pace of store openings and drum up excitement for the brand with the launch of novelty items and new collaborations. So far, however, the results have been uneven and market watchers had signaled frustration with the turnaround. What’s more, Kate Spade’s same-store sales have slipped for multiple quarters with a reported 16% drop in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020.
Fraser however is one of three appointments that could mark a major shift for Tapestry’s owned-brands. Giorgio Sarné has been promoted to CEO and brand president of Stuart Weitzman while Yann Bozec will become president of Tapestry Asia Pacific.
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“We are delighted with the appointments of Liz, Giorgio and Yann, all three talented leaders who have best-in-class knowledge that is directly aligned to our long-term strategic plan,” said Tapestry chairman and CEO Jide Zeitlin in a statement. “With Liz’s career in fashion spanning over three decades and the deep experience in brand building at Coach and Tapestry that both Giorgio and Yann bring to their new roles, we believe we are well positioned to drive sustained sales and margin growth and shareholder returns.”
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