The American luxury fashion and accessories company has announced the appointment of Joshua Schulman to the role of brand President and CEO, reporting to Coach Inc. CEO Victor Luis, and effective June 5. Schulman will be responsible for 'all aspects of the brand globally' in the newly-created role, and will report to Coach Inc. CEO Victor Luis.
“I’ve known Josh for many years and had always hoped to attract him to Coach. He lives and breathes our industry and brings a unique blend of brand building and broad retail experience to the company, making him the ideal person for this newly created role,” said Luis in a press release.
The New York luxury brand, founded in 1941, noted that the change in leadership structure followed its 2015 acquisition of premium footwear label Stuart Weitzman and is 'an important step in Coach, Inc.’s evolution as a customer-focused, multi-brand organization.' The announcement of the new leadership structure comes amid rumours of Coach's bid for handbag specialist Kate Spade, as the company continues its shift towards luxury multibrand retailing.
"“I have been very impressed with the evolution of Coach under Stuart Vevers’s creative direction and Victor Luis’s leadership,” said Schulman. “I look forward to working with the talented global teams at Coach to build on this transformation, driving growth and relevance for the iconic brand across product categories, channels and geographies.”
Schulman joins Coach from the Neiman Marcus Group. His departure from his role as President at Bergdorf Goodman, scheduled for May 10, was announced earlier this week. During his five-year tenure, the luxury specialist oversaw NMG international subsidiaries including German e-tailer MyTheresa.com, and prior to joining NMG, he served as CEO at Jimmy Choo from 2007 to 2012, and in senior executive roles at brands including Gap, Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci.
The company also announced the promotion of Ian Bickley, current brand President, International Group, to President, Global Business Development and Strategic Alliances for Coach, Inc., a newly-created post which he will take up on July 2.
The executive joined Coach in 1993 and was promoted to roles of increasing responsibility during his 24-year career with the company. He oversaw the company’s Japanese business from 1997 to 2006, and served as President of Coach Japan for five years, leading the segment to fourfold growth and to becoming the number two handbag and accessory brand in Japan.
Bickley moved back to New York in 2006 to serve as President, International Group, focusing on the business operations in Asia and recently developing partnerships in Brazil, Vietnam and Europe. In January, he renewed the company’s partnership with Grupo Axo in Mexico, expanding the partnership for more 8 years.
In the newly created role, the Harvard College graduate will be responsible for strategic partnerships across all brands. He will partner with brand presidents in leading strategic distributor relationships, licensing partnerships and collaborations, and he will have oversight of Coach’s global real estate development. Bickley will also continue to report to CEO Victor Luis.
“Ian has been a tremendous leader and contributor to the growth of our business during his 24-year tenure with Coach,” said Luis. “His extensive global relationships and industry experience make him the perfect fit for this important strategic role in the next chapter of our multi-brand evolution.”
Continuing the slew of executive change within the company, brand President, North America and Global Marketing, Andre Cohen, is to exit at the end of June. Cohen will return to his family in Singapore after nine years with the US-headquartered brand.
Erin Floyd and Obi Anyanwu
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