Anna Bakst exits Kate Spade
Tapestry, Inc. has announced that Anna Bakst, chief executive officer and brand president of Kate Spade, will exit the company at the end of the calendar year.
Tapestry said it has already started to look for Bakst’s replacement, and that Joanne Crevoiserat, Tapestry’s chief financial officer, will fill in for Bakst in the interim. In the position, she will have direct oversight of Kate Spade’s strategy and operations, and will work closely with the brand’s senior leadership team.
Bakst began her role as CEO and president of Kate Spade in April, 2018. Prior to joining the brand, she served as group president of Michael Kors and as president of the shoe and accessory division of The Donna Karan Company, among other roles.
“We thank [Bakst] for the passion and commitment she has brought to her work at Kate Spade,” said Jide Zeitlin, chairman and chief executive officer of Tapestry, which owns Kate Spade, alongside Coach and Stuart Weitzman.
“We are moving ahead quickly with a search process. Our strong Kate Spade leadership team, working with [Crevoiserat], will take the business forward aligned with Nicola Glass’s creative vision. Quarter-to-date, Kate Spade’s performance is on track and we are confident in our ability to meet our holiday season goals. We look forward to providing details about our second quarter results during our upcoming earnings call in February.”
The brand, which has been working to refresh itself with new product launches and pop-ups, has still been a problem child for Tapestry since it purchased the brand in 2017. Struggling with low sales, excess inventory and tired designs, the Kate Spade brand’s latest obstacle has been battling tariffs on apparel and jewelry imported from China, where the brand makes a large portion of its ready-to-wear apparel and jewelry.
Same-store sales for Kate Spade fell 16% in the first quarter, and Tapestry said in November that it expected sales to drop in the high-single digits in the current quarter.
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