Reed Krakoff Atlantique Tote

When Coach announced that Reed Krakoff would be leaving the brand in order to to focus on his own brand by mid-2014, the company also mentioned something interesting – that they were looking to sell the Krakoff brand, perhaps to the man himself, perhaps to investors. In essence, Krakoff wouldn’t just be leaving Coach, the brand, but he’d also be leaving Coach, the company, entirely. Earlier this week, Women’s Wear Daily reported that the first element of that separation is complete.

Reed Krakoff, with the backing of a currently anonymous group of investors, has bought his label from Coach, Inc. There’s no word on the value of the transaction or if or how the sale of the brand will affect Krakoff’s potential departure date at Coach, which still remains vague, or when new creative director Stuart Vevers, late of Loewe, will start his new job. For a company as large and corporate as Coach, it strikes me as odd that the transition hasn’t been dealt with more swiftly. The entanglement of Krakoff’s brand certainly complicated things, so hopefully we can get this show on the road soon and see how Vevers affects the brand’s aesthetic.

It’ll be just as interesting, of course, to see how the separation from Coach affects Krakoff’s brand. One of the most immediate ways could be a change in manufacturing – despite their elevated price points, Krakoff’s bags are made in China, just like Coach’s. Similarly priced bags almost always boast a European manufacturing end point these days, even if many of the components passed through China at some point, and high-end customers expect the warm fuzzies of knowing that their bag was birthed on Italian soil. Now that Krakoff doesn’t have the Coach supply chain at his disposal, it would make sense to shift toward a manufacturing process that customers will perceive as more high-quality and luxurious.

  • pe.riche.

    I’m just amazed that Krakoff was able to purchase his namesake from Coach in the first place. Usually in these types of dealings, the owning company makes the employee sign contracts so strictly worded that basically boils down to all Intellectual Property being owned by the company. Either Krakoff has a very swift and hefty circle of investors supporting him, or, Coach didn’t foresee the dominance of Krakoff.

  • Sophie Proust

    That’s interesting. Can anyone who owns a Krakoff bag comment on the quality in comparison to Italian-made bags sold at similar price points?

    • Sam

      I own a RK hobo and I am very impressed with it’s quality. The leather is buttery but very durable and the hardware is of top quality as well. Although I can only speak for this particular design, I wouldn’t hesitate to rank it slightly higher than my balenciaga bag and on the same level as one of my bottegas.

    • weaslgrl

      I own an Atlantique and a Boxer; both purchased on sale so it made the price point a bit more palatable for a non-European made bag. The design and construction are impeccable. I’m not really a leather aficionado, but to me it seems on par with other bags at Krakoff’s regular prices.

    • Angela O

      I own a black boxer bag, purchased it years ago on sale and has been my daily work bag. Not only is the leather buttery soft, the hardware and stitching are very high quality. The hardware on this bag does not have a single scratch on it. Only thing showing “wear” are the handles where the seams are sealed (the seal has started to peel), but that didn’t start happening till a year after I wore it daily. I get compliments on it all the time. LOVE MY BOXER Bag-hoping I can score another on sale someday. If I could afford to pay full price I would gladly do so.

  • Sophie Proust

    That’s interesting. Can anyone who owns a Krakoff bag comment on the quality in comparison to Italian-made bags sold at similar price points?

  • Seres

    I am glad to hear of RK’s quality. While ‘Made in China’ has distasteful connotations, I suspect if you pay the workers enough, a nation that can put man in space, can make a decent bag. I would be interested in the cost price of a Coach bag versus a RK bag made in China.

  • Seres

    I am glad to hear of RK’s quality. While ‘Made in China’ has distasteful connotations, I suspect if you pay the workers enough, a nation that can put man in space, can make a decent bag. I would be interested in the cost price of a Coach bag versus a RK bag made in China.

  • Jewels

    I just bought the mini Atlantic bionic leather and suede black bag and although I love the design the quality is poor for the price point. It is more comparable to a $300 coach bag. I wish I did my research as I was very surprised when I took it home and realised it did not feel anything like my other designer brand bags of similar price. This one was made in China and there is a big difference in quality. Feel ripped off.