After just more than three years, creative director Nicola Glass is parting ways with Kate Spade New York, which is on the hunt for a head of product design—a new role for the firm.
When Glass leaves on April 1 and during the executive search, the design team will report to Kate Spade CEO Liz Fraser, the Tapestry-owned brand said Thursday. The newly identified product expert will be responsible for cross-category design, including ready to wear, handbags and accessories, footwear, jewelry and licensed categories.
Fraser credited Glass for Kate Spade’s “important steps forward,” like rejuvenating its handbag assortment and elevating product quality, while also “creating iconic and proprietary elements that distinguish our brand.”
“She has also established an incredibly talented design team who will continue to honor our brand’s legacy and drive our business into the future,” she added.
The accessible luxury label also revealed additional changes furthering its goal of fostering innovation and collaboration. On April 1, Kristen Naiman will become senior vice president, brand concept and strategy, after serving as senior vice president, brand creative for the past seven years. Reporting to Fraser, she will be responsible for brand storytelling platforms and spearheading brand elements across customer touchpoints, in addition to taking the lead on annual and seasonal concepts, print and color direction.
Naiman and the new head of product design will partner with Jenny Campbell, senior vice president and chief marketing officer and Michele Parsons, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer, to ensure a consistent brand experience across all customer touchpoints, the company said.
Tapestry Inc. on Feb. 4 reported second quarter earnings results for the period ended Dec. 26. At the time, it said that net sales for the Kate Spade brand were down 13 percent to $376 million, reflecting the decision to pull back on lower margin wholesale disposition sales. Gross margin for the period was 62.1 percent.