NEW YORK — Reed Krakoff Co. has made two key hires to bolster its management team.
This story first appeared in the May 20, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Stacy Van Praagh has been named president of Krakoff, and Evelyn Kim has been tapped as chief digital officer. Both executives report to Reed Krakoff, chief executive officer and creative director.
In February, Valérie Hermann resigned as president and ceo of Krakoff to become president of Ralph Lauren Luxury Collections.
At the time, Krakoff assumed the ceo role, in addition to remaining creative director.
Most recently, Van Praagh was president — Americas of Fendi, where she worked from 2009 to 2013. Earlier she held such posts as global vice president of sales at Oscar de la Renta, vice president of sales at Kate Spade and director of ready-to-wear at Chanel.
“Stacy is someone I’ve gotten to know over the past couple of months. She is someone who brings an amazing amount of experience in the luxury space, in a lot of different aspects,” Krakoff said Monday. “She’s someone who ran Fendi North America and did a fantastic job orchestrating the commercial business, both wholesale and retail. She has an amazing energy and enthusiasm for the business.”
Krakoff said that Van Praagh was a customer of the collection and e-mailed him. “I met her and immediately thought she would be a great addition to the brand,” he said.
Van Praagh will be responsible for running the commercial side of the business — retail expansion, wholesale and concessions. “She’ll be my partner in growing the business and will participate in merchandising and brand strategy in a holistic way,” said Krakoff.
In addition to its e-commerce site, the company has 120 points of distribution and nine concessions with Saks Fifth Avenue. The brand, which has one freestanding store on Madison Avenue here, is distributed in 20 countries. On Monday, Krakoff moved into a new showroom at 40 West 25th Street.
Van Praagh’s key priorities will be to grow the business through all channels of distribution and strategically work with the senior team in planning the next phase of product distribution and branding, said Krakoff.
Kim, the company’s first digital officer, most recently was vice president, global digital marketing at Tiffany & Co.
“She is someone who will drive all marketing for the brand through new technology and digital,” said Krakoff. Kim will handle everything from marketing and social media to the company’s online businesses, whether through partnerships or their own e-commerce site, said Krakoff. “Her responsibilities are to grow awareness, sales and interaction with the brand in a meaningful way in the near term,” said the designer. She begins June 9 and will lead the digital team.
“I think she represents our commitment to looking at the business through a digital lens and seeing the opportunity to engage and attract consumers in new ways,” he said. Her hire represents the first time the company has organized around positioning the marketing, first and foremost, throughout digital, rather than traditional marketing.
As for the company’s business outlook, Krakoff said things were going well: “We’re still a new company. In September, it will be four years in the market. We’re still new and we’re always evolving our business and what our focus is.”
The brand was launched with a full assortment of categories, including rtw, handbags, watches, jewelry, shoes and, shortly after, fragrance. Last Aug. 30, Krakoff, with a group of investors, acquired control of his namesake business from Coach Inc. in a buyout deal that was reportedly valued at $50 million. Krakoff has the largest stake, while Mark Ein, Mitch Rales and certain funds managed by T. Rowe Price also invested in the brand.