The Surprising News That Means Big Changes At Coach

Most people associate Coach with a horse-and-buggy logo, tassel embellishments and supple leather—not its president and executive director of over 16 years, Reed Krakoff. But while his leadership role at the company is lower profile than say, Karl Lagerfeld's at Chanel, or Alber Elbaz's at Lanvin, he's no less important to the brand. In fact, it's a testament to his talent that the label is associated with buggies, tassels and kidskin instead of his face. It means people are really into its product, not just the name behind it.

So, given the Krakoff-directed vision of Coach we've grown to love over nearly two decades, it was a major shock to read he's leaving his post as of June 2014.  According to WWD, that's when his contract ends and instead of renewing, he'd like to focus on growing his own namesake collection, which launched in 2010.

So what does this all mean for Coach? Well, to start, it'll have to find a new head of house; he or she will set a new tone for the brand going forward. Depending on how big a splash the newbie wants to make, this could range from a major Hedi Slimane at YSL (ahem, Saint Laurent)-like overhaul or a quiet homage to the brand's original designer, Bonnie Cashin—not unlike what Raf Simons has been doing since taking the reins at Dior.

There's also Reed's own empire to consider: right now it only includes extremely expensive luxury RTW and accessorizes—it will be interesting to see how he plans to expand. Could a diffusion line be in his future? A high-low collaboration? (Hopefully something a little more relevant than one of these.) However it all goes down, there's surely some major shakeups coming in the world of fashion. How would you like to see things play out? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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