Kate Spade appoints former Michael Kors president Anna Bakst as new CEO

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Kate Spade

Luxury accessories retailer Kate Spade has appointed Anna Bakst as its new chief executive and brand president, following a 13-year stint at Michael Kors.

Bakst is set to take on the new role on March 26 and will replace interim chief executive and head of Kate Spade’s parent company Tapestry Victor Luis.

Luis has led the company since Tapestry acquired the brand earlier this year, with former chief executive Craig Leavitt leaving in the wake of the takeover. Bakst will report directly to Luis and be responsible for driving growth at the brand globally.

Since leaving her role as group president at Michael Kors in January last year, Bakst has been working in education at the Pratt Institute and Stanford University.

During her 13-year career at Michael Kors, Bakst led the launch of the brand accessories and footwear division, which reported $3 billion (£2.1 billion) in revenue in 2016.

Prior this she spent 12 years at DYNY, holding the position of president of shoes and accessories for four.

“The appointment of Anna Bakst marks another key step in the evolution of the Kate Spade brand. She brings a rare combination of business acumen, directly related fashion experience and strong leadership skills to the company,” Luis stated.

“Together with recently appointed Creative Director Nicola Glass, we now have the right senior management in place to lead the talented Kate Spade brand team and drive the business globally.”

Bakst added: “I am extremely excited about leading Kate Spade’s passionate and accomplished team and joining Tapestry’s house of brands. I believe the Kate Spade business has tremendous opportunity across product categories, channels and geographies.

“I look forward to leveraging the brand’s global potential and to bringing its unique and empowering feminine positioning to women around the world.”

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