NEW YORK — Coach Inc. has added two executives to its bench to help further its goal of becoming a full-fledged global lifestyle brand.
Zach Augustine has been named executive vice president, Global Environments, and Erin Thompson vice president, artistic director, Global Environments.
Lew Frankfort, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “The appointments of Zach Augustine and Erin Thompson to these newly created roles are the latest steps we’ve taken to broaden our capabilities to enhance the Coach experience through product, retail environments and integrated marketing communications.” RELATED STORY: Coach's New Strategy, a Lifestyle Approach >>
Augustine will lead initiatives across visual merchandising, architecture and creative development. He is currently global creative director, direct-to-consumer experience, at Nike Inc. His past experience includes stints at Winston, a consulting firm he cofounded that worked on various design projects from brand identity to retail and showroom, as well as at Giorgio Armani, Diesel, Polo Jeans, Nautica and Levi Strauss & Co. He reports to Reed Krakoff, president and executive creative director.
Thompson joins Coach this spring, and will oversee creative development for windows, in-store, showrooms and events. She was head of visual at Selfridges & Co. in London, and before that held several visual merchandising roles at Mulberry. She reports to Augustine, and will move to New York from London.
Krakoff said the new hires, with their extensive track records connected with the in-store consumer experience, will be instrumental in bringing Coach stores to the next level.
“We always want our store environments to tell the Coach story in a way that’s meaningful to our customers and that brings Coach’s rich emotional context to life,” Krakoff said.
Augustine and Thompson are the latest additions to the staff in connection with Coach’s redefinition of the brand in the accessible luxury category. In January, Sandra Hill joined the company as executive vice president, women’s design, with responsibility over all women’s products. Jeffrey Uhl was named senior vice president, men’s design, in September, having joined Coach in July 2010 from Converse.
The planning for the transformation has been in the works for a year and is expected to have an impact in the stores during the 2013 holiday. The new strategy comes as Frankfort earlier this month revealed plans to cede the ceo title in January to Victor Luis, currently head of Coach’s international operations. He will remain chairman.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast