It looks like Coach Inc. is casting a wide net to find the brand’s next creative director — wide enough to cover some very big fish, including none other than Marc Jacobs.The inclusion of Jacobs’ name on the dream list of candidates for the Coach job is igniting a whirlwind of speculation — from whether the designer’s contract at Louis Vuitton will be renewed when it expires at the end of the year to whether Jacobs, and his partner LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, could follow in the footsteps of Michael Kors and go for an initial public offering of his namesake brand.It could not be learned whether Jacobs has been contacted about the Coach job and sources stressed his inclusion on the list of candidates is speculative at this point. According to sources, other candidates on the list include the likes of former Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière, Chloé’s creative director Clare Waight Keller, Derek Lam, Phillip Lim, and Emma Hill, former creative director at Mulberry.Coach is searching for a successor for Reed Krakoff, president and executive creative director, who is stepping down after a 16-year career helming the New York-based accessories powerhouse. He is to make a final exit in June 2014 to concentrate on his high-end namesake brand, although sources said he could exit sooner if a successor is found.RELATED STORY: Reed Krakoff Exiting Coach to Focus on Own Line >> Coach, which launched Krakoff’s brand two-and-a-half years ago, said it would explore “strategic options” for the Reed Krakoff collection that “may involve a sale to a group, in which Krakoff would participate.” On Friday, sources confirmed a Wall Street Journal report that Coach has hired Perella Weinberg to handle a sale of the Krakoff brand. A Coach spokesman declined comment on the report.Karen Harvey Consulting has been hired to find Krakoff’s successor at Coach. Executive search specialists have suggested the company is also likely to look at high-profile “executive designers” in global brands such as Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Jimmy Choo.One possible successor to Krakoff in this category is Deborah Lloyd, president and chief creative officer of Kate Spade.Coach is also said to be searching for a chief merchandising officer, considered a crucial post that will work in tandem with the future creative director.Jacobs is surely the most intriguing of possible targets for the creative director role, suggesting the industry at large views an exit from Vuitton — despite his blockbuster tenure at the French leather goods giant — as a possibility.It is understood Jacobs and Robert Duffy commenced discussions to renew their current Vuitton contracts sometime back in 2012. Earlier this year, the designer referenced meetings he had to attend on the subject. Jacobs and Duffy revealed they had signed 10-year contracts with Vuitton in 2004 that extended their employment there through 2013.According to a Paris source, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has not conducted parallel talks with any other potential candidates to take over the creative helm at Vuitton, dampening widespread speculation that Ghesquière is the heir apparent. He has been dropping hints, privately and in interviews in niche magazines, that he’s got a big project looming — and he is frequently seen in the company of LVMH executives in Paris.Ghesquière declined all comment on “rumors about future projects.”According to market sources, negotiations Jacobs is conducting with LVMH have extended beyond his Vuitton contract and could see his entanglements with the French group altered or recalibrated.In broad terms, the New York-based operating company, Marc Jacobs International, is majority controlled by LVMH, the parent of a galaxy of brands in fashion and leather goods, wines and spirits, watches and jewelry, perfumes and cosmetics, and selective retail. The ownership of the Marc Jacobs trademarks, meanwhile, is split equally between LVMH, Jacobs and Duffy, who is president of Marc Jacobs International.Among the wilder possibilities floated during talks, according to a Paris source, has been a possible spin-off and initial public offering of Marc Jacobs. One impetus would be to maximize the potential of Jacobs’ business, believed to be approaching the $1 billion revenue leagues, as an independent company.No doubt the runaway success of Michael Kors’ 2011 placement on the New York Stock Exchange, and a stock market that’s hungry for new offerings, has compelled Jacobs and Duffy to consider that lucrative option.To be sure, the partners are gearing up to jump-start growth at Marc by Marc Jacobs, a sprawling contemporary brand launched in 2000 and considered the growth engine of the company. Late last month Duffy named Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley as creative director and design director of women’s ready-to-wear, respectively, to get the brand back on the growth track.Sources stressed that the spin-off scenario is a separate negotiation to the Vuitton contract renewal, and the likelihood of an agreement on either subject could not be learned.Another Paris source strongly downplayed the likelihood of a spin-off, noting that LVMH continues to invest heavily in Jacobs’ business, spurred on by its rapid international success, and that the French group has no need to seek outside funding.LVMH chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault is loathe to off-load businesses in his sprawling luxury empire, especially ones with great expansion potential like Jacobs. What’s more, he is said to have formed a strong bond with the designer and Duffy over their long partnership.In any event, if Jacobs, Duffy and LVMH were to entertain the possibility of a listing, it could take a couple of years to lay the groundwork.Duffy declined to comment on its talks with LVMH, saying only they are ongoing.An LVMH spokesman had no comment.
Exclusive: @longchamp is planning to stage its first official runway show at New York Fashion Week this fall. The French leather goods firm has expanded into ready-to-wear as part of its repositioning as a lifestyle brand. The show, scheduled for September 8, will also cap the brand’s 70th anniversary celebration. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex undertook their first overseas engagement as a married couple in Dublin. The trip included multiple events and outfits changes, including this black dress by @emiliawickstead that Meghan Markle wore for a party at the British Ambassador’s home. #wwdfashion #royals
At 20 years old – and with an estimated net worth of $900 million - @kyliejenner is the youngest person to ever make @forbes’ annual list of America’s Richest #SelfMadeWomen. “It’s incredible to be recognized for something I’m so passionate about, and I’m really grateful for that. I’ve always loved makeup and worked really hard to bring the first lip kit to the market,” said Jenner on founding @kyliecosmetics. See who else is on the list on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @rainerhosch)
“The collection is inspired by Tulum and the Mayan Riviera – its laid-back luxury, life of cabanas, untouched coastline, natural habitats, exotic cocktails and jungle parties with renowned DJs,” said Matteo Maniatty, creative director and cofounder of @descendantofthieves, on the brand’s inspiration for its latest collection. See more designer sketches and inspirations on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #nyfwmens #nyfw
@riccardotisci17 is releasing a limited-edition capsule collection as part of his anticipated runway debut for @burberry in September. Delivered in a series of instant drops, this is the second Burberry capsule collection announced since Friday, when Tisci broke the news on his collaboration with @viviennewestwood. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
“It’s like a Cinderella story. You get a little fake, you get a little real, you put it together and voilà,” said legendary rapper Slick Rick, who helped pioneer the merge of luxury and streetwear. WWD’s @ariahughes spoke to @therulernyc about his jewelry collection, his collaboration with @bally and how the industry has evolved – link in bio. (📷: @kristaschlueter)
@ragandbone and @eminem are teaming up on a special capsule collection of streetwear pieces. Sold at a one-day pop-up in London’s Soho on Friday, the collection features three different T-shirt designs and a hoodie. The capsule is set to kick off the rest of Eminem’s shows in his European Revival Tour, which ends on Sunday. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdfashion