For Stuart Weitzman, only the millennial’s “top-admired influencer” has what it takes to star as its newest brand ambassador.
Kim Kardashian is bringing her famous figure, trend-setting style and roughly 328 million Instagram followers to bear as the face of Tapestry Inc.’s smallest brand and its “new purpose” celebrating “women who stand strong,” Stuart Weitzman CEO and brand president Giorgio Sarné told analysts at the New York company’s Investor Day on Friday.
The footwear-focused label’s repositioning includes not just Kardashian but a new logo and color scheme be rolled out in the “coming days,” Sarné said, pointing to the celebrity’s relevance in pop culture and social media conversation.
Expect to see the mom-of-four’s first Stuart Weitzman campaigns later this year in New York, Los Angeles, London and Milan.
With the U.S. and China making up the bulk of the brand’s 100 directly operated stores at 40 and 55, respectively, Stuart Weitzman has expanded its reach in recent years. Digital, meanwhile, commanded 30 percent of North American sales in fiscal 2022.
The brand’s “very affluent” customers spent “nearly $600 on average for our shoes last year,” Sarné said, noting the $30 billion premium footwear market’s trajectory toward $37 billion in the next three years.
Stuart Weitzman is dead set on filling its customer ranks with “very important” millennial consumers who are expected to drive “50 percent of the luxury purchases in the coming years,” he said.
By fiscal 2025, the brand is eyeing $450 million in net sales, translating to $130 million more than fiscal 2022 and a 12 percent to 13 percent compound annual growth rate. It plans to accomplish this goal by raising AURs, or average unit retail, and unit growth.
“We have opportunities everywhere, but you will see outsize growth in Asia driven by China,” Sarné said, noting plans to open about 25 new stores in the next three years.
Eyeing $5.7 billion by 2025, Coach is nearly a $5 billion brand today, thanks a renewed focus on production innovation over price and promotion that drove $650 million revenue growth over fiscal 2019, said Todd Kahn, CEO and brand president.
“We’ve always been good about customer data, but we got better at it,” he said, pointing out that newly acquired customers are “transacting at higher rates and higher AURs” even as Coach slashed its SKU count.
Gen Z and millennials are “where the money is,” and will dictate Coach storytelling’s investments, Kahn said. He added, “We also know Gen Z and millennials have an incredible influence in luxury and fashion to other generations,” highlighting a Bain report indicating these shoppers will soon make up 70 percent of the luxury spend.
Coach even directed researchers to get up close and personal with the millennial and Gen Z closet by arranging home visits. “We saw what they bought. We saw what was important for them,” Kahn said. Young consumers coming into their own “want brands to help them ensure their levels of confidence,” he continued.
Though Coach gets credit for coming up with the term “accessible luxury,” now the brand is evolving toward “expressive luxury,” an ethos that’s less about impressing and more about enabling self-expression.
As it works to drive the business by acquiring new customers, Coach is also expanding its lifestyle offerings in a move with might ding margins but inflate lifetime value.
The brand also sees significant potential in the men’s business, which “has some of the highest AURs in our company,” Kahn said.
Now sold in over 40 countries, Kate Spade did a record $1.4 billion-plus in fiscal 2022 revenue and wants to reach $1.9 billion by 2025, CEO and brand president Liz Fraser said.
Despite North American price hikes, Kate Spade brought in “over three million new customers last year and we reactivated 1.4 million.” Reactivated customer spending was up by 34 percent, and up 25 percent versus new ones. The core customer “buys handbags at a pretty high price, “and “her average purchase is about $400,” Fraser said. “So this is a super rich space for us to mine.”
The brand will unveil a new store concept this fall, and expand lifestyle offerings from just 20 percent of the assortment. Leather goods represent most of the business.
“Lifestyle products really animate our emotional brand story,” Fraser said, adding, “Jewelry for example brings in a younger customer. Footwear brings in new and more diverse customers. Ready-to-wear is already 50 percent of our revenue.”
Tapestry’s Fiscal Year 2025 Goals
Tapestry CEO Joanne Crevoiserat said the company is “ready to move at ‘futurespeed.'”
“The consumer moves differently today, and so do we,” she said, calling out investments in TikTok and its China-equivalent Douyin where Tapestry’s keeping up with customers younger than its 40-ish companywide average.
“The global luxury goods market represents over $295 billion, growing to $370 billion by 2025. And these categories have proved incredibly resilient over time through business cycles and even through shocks like Covid. This reinforces our confidence in the mid-to-high single digit growth that we expect for the category going forward,” she said. The three-year plan guides revenue to $8 billion, or a compound annual growth rate of 6 percent to 7 percent.
The company overall acquired 15 million new “increasingly younger” customers in North America over the last two years, according to Crevoiserat, who said e-commerce is expected to amount to one-third of total revenue by fiscal 2025.