Kate Spade New York RTW Fall 2018

Tapestry Inc. picked Michael Kors veteran Anna Bakst to lead its Kate Spade division as chief executive officer and brand president.

She joins the company on Monday, succeeding Craig Leavitt, who decided to leave the brand last year after selling the business to Tapestry.

Bakst is responsible for all aspects of the brand and will report to Tapestry’s ceo Victor Luis, who has been heading up Kate Spade since Leavitt left.

Luis said Bakst “brings a rare combination of business acumen, directly related fashion experience and strong leadership skills to the company. Together with recently appointed creative director Nicola Glass, we now have the right senior management in place to lead the talented Kate Spade brand team and drive the business globally.”

He added that “Anna’s focus on product innovation — notably in the key categories of accessories and footwear — will be a key pillar of the Kate Spade growth strategy.”

Bakst was group president of accessories and footwear at Michael Kors Holdings until January 2017, when she ended a 14-year run at the brand — a period that saw the company expand dramatically and turn into a publicly held powerhouse of accessible fashion. At Kors, she led the global design, production and merchandising teams for her area and oversaw domestic wholesale.

Before Kors, she spent 12 years at Donna Karan International, rising to become president of footwear and accessories.

Bakst said: “The Kate Spade business has tremendous opportunity across product categories, channels and geographies. I look forward to leveraging the brand’s global potential and to bringing its unique and empowering feminine positioning to women around the world.”

Tapestry bought Kate Spade for $2.4 billion last July when the parent group was still known as Coach Inc. The firm’s name was later changed to better suit its portfolio approach to brands, with Coach, Stuart Weitzman and Kate Spade all under its umbrella.

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