Coach to be Renamed While the Name on Your Handbag Stays

To many, Coach is a company that’s synonymous with American luxury. It was therefore unsurprising that the October 11th announcement to rename the almost eighty-year-old company to Tapestry Inc. sparked both outrage and confusion across social media.

To clarify, Coach will keep their signature logo on it’s leather goods. “Tapestry” is what the company that was formerly Coach Inc. will be named. The parent company of Coach acquired Stuart Weitzman in 2016, and Kate Spade this year for $2.4 billion.

Amidst the upset that this announcement produced from Coach followers (Twitter users described the name as “old” and commented that it reminded them of both the 1971 Carole King album and their college dorms), the change also caused a 2 percent decline in shares.

From a business perspective, it is understandable that Coach would make such a change. In a press statement, CEO Victor Luis stated, “In Tapestry, we found a name that speaks to creativity, craftsmanship, authenticity and inclusivity on a shared platform and values.”

Name changes aren’t uncommon. Many other companies have changed their names to reflect the brands they include: Kraft to Mondelez and Google into Alphabet, to name a couple. Doing so is a strategic move in an effort to change the company’s direction. Considering that Coach has been rebranding itself for the past few years, with a goal of shedding its image of an American accessories retailer with too many outlet stores, towards a full-fledged “modern luxury” fashion house with a diverse portfolio of brands, the name change makes sense.

Luis told Business of Fashion after the acquisition of Kate Spade that “[The] opportunity for modern luxury brands — brands that are about approachability, not just about exclusivity — is huge. And that’s our focus.”

Tapestry Inc. will join the ranks of other luxury groups in fashion such as LVMH and Kering. The change takes place October 31st, and one will only know with time how shareholders and consumers will adjust and how much it will impact their rebrand strategy.

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