Style & ShowbizFashion

Coach taps Stuart Weitzman CEO to revamp footwear

FashionBy Sunday World
Coach taps Stuart Weitzman CEO to revamp footwear

Coach is getting a revamped shoe line with help from Stuart Weitzman's former CEO.

New York City-based brand Coach will cease its footwear license with the Jimlar Corporation in 2017 and instead turn to the head of its sister company Stuart Weitzman, Wayne Kulkin, to help give a new lease of life to the collection.

While Victor noted Coach, whose creative director is Stuart Vevers, and Jimlar had worked well together, he feels this is the right time for the label to step up to the next level.

“(Footwear) has been the life-blood of Wayne for the past 25-plus years as Stuart’s partner,” Coach CEO Victor Luis told Footwear News. “He knows the market, the competitive set, the (technical aspects of the) category and has the merchandising (and trend) expertise.”

Wayne will be leaving his role of CEO at Stuart Weitzman after over two decades in the hot seat, during which he helped the company open 200 stores around the world. Wendy Kahn will take over his role.

“There is so much opportunity to spread the vision of Stuart Vevers to the footwear industry,” Wayne explained. “With the licensing model, you don’t get 100 per cent control of all things brand (related). When it comes in-house, you can do the storytelling.”

Coach poached Stuart Weitzman from Sycamore Partners two years ago, so Wayne's new step isn’t completely unexpected as industry experts predicted they’d bond more. And with Wayne’s experience in footwear, having begun his shoe career as a buyer at Nordstrom, Victor is confident Coach can up its sales. There are already 1,000 stories under the brand’s empire around the world and many wholesale partnerships and shop-in-shops in department stores.

Cover Media