Sep 16, 2009
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Coach says Prada US head to take reins of new unit

Sep 16, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Coach Inc (COH.N) said on Tuesday 15 September it had hired the head of luxury brand Prada's U.S. operations to run its new Reed Krakoff division, which will sell clothing, handbags, shoes and jewelry.

Photo: www.coach.com

Graziano de Boni, the president and chief executive of Prada USA, will become the new president of the Reed Krakoff brand, said Coach spokeswoman Andrea Resnick.

De Boni, a former executive at Valentino, had been in his role at Prada only since mid-2008.

Prada, the privately owned Italian global luxury brand, could not be reached for comment.

The Reed Krakoff luxury line, named after Coach's president and executive creative director, is expected to launch early next year and be sold in a small number of stand-alone stores and a limited number of boutiques and specialty stores. Prices will range from $495 to $1,195 and the items will not be sold in Coach stores.

The move to launch the Reed Krakoff line has come even as Coach lowers prices on some of its handbags to appeal to newly frugal shoppers. Analysts say it is a risky time to launch a luxury line and say there is no guarantee that Coach's strength in handbags will translate into success selling apparel.

In its most recent quarter, Coach posted lower quarterly profit that matched Wall Street expectations, but increased investments and lower profit margins at the leather goods company worried some investors. (Reporting by Alexandria Sage, editing by Maureen Bavdek and Matthew Lewis)

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