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2009 June 17

Scoop! Coach Said to Be Developing New Brand

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(NEW YORK) From the moment Reed Krakoff entered the fashion business as a designer at Polo Ralph Lauren in 1988, he has positioned himself as one of the industry's most business-minded creatives. No wonder that Coach, his employer since 1996, is looking to tap its president and executive creative director in a more public way.

The Daily has learned that Coach is developing a new brand around Krakoff. In fact, "Reed," "Reed Krakoff," and "RK" were registered with the United States Patent and Trademark office in February along with two designed logos. The goods and services that could potentially be launched under this trademark range from personal care products like body sprays and toilet soap to ready-to-wear and leather goods. Even pet products and "hotel and restaurant services" are accounted for.

Coach is one of the greatest success stories in American fashion, having grown from a small leather workshop in 1941 to a global megabrand with over 270 freestanding retail stores. Reflecting the industry's current downward trend, the brand announced in April that third quarter profits declined 29.3 percent as sales dropped by 0.6 percent to $740 million against the same year-ago quarter. But with the company essentially debt-free, according to a 2008 feature in Portfolio, Coach remains focused on growth and investment.

"We always have new projects in development," said a Coach spokesperson while denying specifically a Spring 2010 launch of the Reed Krakoff spinoff. How will Krakoff's magic touch extend to an eponymous brand? Only time--and market research--will tell.
ASHLEY BAKER




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