Tapestry, Inc., a leading New York-based house of modern luxury accessories and lifestyle brands, has announced the appointment of Anna Bakst as Chief Executive Officer and Brand President of Kate Spade.
She is expected to join the company on March 26, 2018 and will succeed Craig Leavitt, who in the wake of the Tapestry, Inc. acquisition, made the decision to exit the brand in 2017. In this role, Bakst will be responsible for all aspects of Kate Spade globally and will report to Victor Luis, Tapestry, Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer, who has been leading the brand in an interim capacity since Mr. Leavitt’s departure.
“The appointment of Anna Bakst marks another key step in the evolution of the Kate Spade brand,” said Victor Luis, Chief Executive Officer of Tapestry, Inc. “She brings a rare combination of business acumen, directly related fashion experience and strong leadership skills to the company. 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 has over 25 years of experience managing and cultivating businesses for global fashion houses, most recently at Michael Kors where, until January 2017, she held the role of Group President of Accessories and Footwear. In her role, she led the global design, production and merchandising teams, as well as overseeing domestic wholesale distribution. Bakst joined Michael Kors in 2003, leading the successful launch of the company’s Accessories and Footwear businesses.
Prior to Michael Kors, she had a 12-year career at Donna Karan International, ultimately as President of Accessories and Footwear. Bakst holds an MBA from Stanford University and a BS in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. Bakst is on the Board of Directors of Modern Meadow. She is also an Associate Professor at Pratt Institute’s Design Management program.
Victor Luis added, “Anna’s focus on product innovation – notably in the key categories of accessories and footwear – will be a key pillar of the Kate Spade growth strategy. Her deep experience in design, development and merchandising, and her global consumer knowledge will be invaluable assets propelling Kate Spade’s next chapter of growth.”
“I am extremely excited about leading Kate Spade’s passionate and accomplished team and joining Tapestry’s house of brands,” said Bakst. “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.”