The windows of the former Madison Avenue Miu Miu store has been draped in black for almost a year but it will be filled with a new tenant very soon. Coach has signed a deal to occupy the space (@ 69th Street) with a luxury clothing concept store named after its creative director, Reed Krakoff, according to Eric Le-Goff, senior director of Cushman & Wakefield.
The stand-alone Reed Krakoff collection expands Coach's existing brand and will range in price from $495 to $1,195. The line will also include accessories, jewelry and handbags.
The new line expands Coach's reach but seems like a risky concept amid a global economic recession that has consumers looking very closely at price tags. The larger obstacle may prove to be branding Karkoff's name to the greater public.
Fashion insiders may be aware of the success Krakoff has afforded the Coach brand but how many consumers can rattle off Krakoff along with other Madison Avenue designers like, Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Carolina Herrera and Miuccia Prada. Even if the collection is fashion perfection it's going to take a considerable marketing investment to educate consumers and brand Krakoff's name.
"Going into a totally new category, which is more challenging, less profitable and to do it in an environment like this, when there's already too many brands, that is extremely challenging," said Milton Pedraza, chief executive of the Luxury Institute. "It's definitely a sport that is not for the faint of heart."
The faint of heart need not apply, however, Barclays Capital analyst, Robert Drbul says, this may be the perfect time for a Coach expansion. "I think it's going to be a very smart yet contained effort at pursuing additional profitability," he said.
Regradless of the outcome we will are happy to welcome a new neighbor to Madison Avenue and will be sure to give Reed Krakoff a big Madison Avenue Spy welcome when he arrives.