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Coach Expands Team for Lifestyle Push

Zach Augustine has been named executive vice president, Global Environments, and Erin Thompson vice president, artistic director, Global Environments.

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.”

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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.