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March 5, 2021

Kate Spade creative director to depart amid shake-up

Tapestry's Kate Spade New York brand has outlined a new creative organisational structure designed to sharpen its focus on the consumer in a move that will lead to the departure of Nicola Glass as creative director.

By Beth Wright

Tapestry’s Kate Spade New York brand has outlined a new creative organisational structure in a move that will lead to the departure of Nicola Glass as creative director.

The restructure plans to sharpen the brand’s focus on the consumer, drive innovation, and increase collaboration, and will see the formation of two new key roles: senior vice president, brand concept and strategy, and head of product design. These executives will work with Jenny Campbell, senior vice president, chief marketing officer, and Michele Parsons, senior vice president, chief merchandising officer, to ensure a consistent brand experience across all touchpoints.

One of the new roles will go to Kristen Naiman, who has served as senior vice president, brand creative at Kate Spade for the past seven years. She will assume the role of senior vice president, brand concept and strategy effective 1 April, and will be responsible for the creation, publication, and socialisation of brand storytelling platforms, helping set the vision and lead the creation of all brand elements, as well as annual and seasonal concept, print, and colour direction. She will report directly to Liz Fraser, CEO and brand president of Kate Spade.

The brand has begun a search for a head of product design who will lead design across all categories, including handbags and accessories, ready-to-wear, jewellery, footwear, and licensed categories. During the ongoing search process, the design team will report directly to Fraser.

“Over the past year, we’ve worked diligently to build a strong foundation for our future. We have made significant progress, refocusing on our core collection and bringing newness to the assortment to reflect the brand’s distinct DNA. To build on this success, we recognised an opportunity to modernise our approach and processes to fuel innovation and better serve our customers. As a result, we’ve reimagined our creative structure, centred on collaboration, to position us to more fully deliver on our brand promise across every customer interaction with clarity and cohesion. I am incredibly optimistic for our future, and confident that these changes will further position us to win with our customer in product, innovation, digital, community, and storytelling,” Fraser said.

In its most recent results update, Tapestry Inc said net sales for Kate Spade fell 13% to $376m in the second quarter, including the impact of a pullback in lower margin wholesale disposition sales.

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