Coverage: Coach Inc. is changing its name to Tapestry
Coach Inc. is changing its name to Tapestry Inc. to reflect the company’s broader brand umbrella after a series of acquisitions.
Kellie Ell of USA Today had the news:
The New York-based luxury company, most famous for its designer leather handbags, acquired Kate Spade New York last summer for $2.4 billion, along with the shoe and accessory company Stuart Weitzman in May 2015 for $574 million.
“Following the acquisition of Stuart Weitzman and later Kate Spade, we’ve evolved into a multi-brand organization,” Coach Chief Executive Officer Victor Luis told USA TODAY. “With that evolution we made the decision to change our corporate name to Tapestry Inc. with the objective to create a platform for our shared values and to avoid any confusion between the company and any specific names and the belief that the brands would meld together.”
As the company becomes a collective house of high-end products, Luis confirmed that all of the brands will retain their individual names.
Siddharth Cavale of Reuters wrote that company loyalists were upset with the change:
Still, social media reacted harshly to the 76-year old company changing its well-known corporate identity with many Twitter users criticizing the decision that calls for Tapestry being the holding entity that houses the Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman brands.
“This is bizarre & a strategy departure. Dying to know the logic,” Andrea Wasserman, a former Nordstrom and Hudson’s Bay executive, wrote on Twitter following the news.
The derision kept coming as people questioned and even mocked the move.
“$COH changing its name to ”Tapestry“ is a horrible branding idea. Fire the executive who proposed the change,” J Christian Bernabe, a nonprofit digital content director, tweeted.
Chief Executive Victor Luis, however, downplayed the social media backlash.
Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times reported that such name changes are becoming a trend:
Such semantic change has become something of a corporate trend. The Coach Inc. rebranding follows Google’s decision to restructure and name its holding company Alphabet in 2015 and Tribune Publishing Company’s reinvention as Tronc last year. Next up will reportedly be the Weinstein Company, as it attempts to distance itself from its disgraced co-founder, Harvey Weinstein.
But in Coach’s case, the change also reflects what has become an escalating race to create the first American Fashion Group — or, as Mr. Luis styles it, “the first New York Fashion Group.”
The name change, after all, follows Coach’s 2015 acquisition of the Stuart Weitzman shoe label for up to $574 million and its purchase of Kate Spade for $2.4 billion in May. And in July, Coach’s rival Michael Kors acquired Jimmy Choo (a brand that Coach was reportedly also considering acquiring) for $1.2 billion. John Idol, the Kors chief executive, told The New York Times that it was “the beginning of a strategy that we have for building a luxury group that really is focused on international fashion brands.”