Iconic American jeweler Tiffany on Tuesday said it has promoted Reed Krakoff to the newly created role of Chief Artistic Officer.
Last year, Reed — who spent 17 years as the creative director of accessories retailer Coach, held a senior design role at Ralph Lauren, and most recently helmed his eponymous luxury fashion line of womenswear and accessories — served as a creative collaborator for Tiffany with the re-launch of a luxury accessories collection, which will debut for holiday 2017, the jeweler said in a press release.
Meanwhile, Tiffany also announced that worldwide same-store sales declined 2% over the holiday period, weighted down by “postelection traffic disruptions” and the proximity of its flagship store (which saw sales decline 14%) to the now heavily-guarded Trump Tower in New York City.
Tiffany said its woes may continue into this year, considering the headwinds it’s facing, including its now-discouraging placement in New York and the strong dollar, are likely to continue. But CEO Frederic Cumenal said in a statement Tuesday that prudent management and cost-cutting will help its bottom line results.
“These overall holiday period sales results were somewhat lower than we had anticipated, but we continue to benefit from a favorable gross margin and prudent expense management,” he said. “Although we do not anticipate any significant improvement in 2017 to the macroeconomic challenges that we faced this year, we continue to focus on our initiatives to enhance our stores and our customers’ experience, and to add newness to our product assortment, while maintaining effective marketing communications and a well-developed supply chain. We believe executing on these initiatives, which are within our control, will contribute over the long-term to strengthening Tiffany’s competitive position among global luxury brands.”
That includes, presumably, its hire of Krakoff, who has had something of a rocky design career, as profiled by Vanity Fair last spring. He is a three-time CFDA Award winner, and, Tiffany says, is celebrated globally for his contributions to the worlds of fashion, interior design and the arts. But he was fired from Tommy Hilfiger in 1996, and had trouble gaining traction with his own brand, which folded in 2015. Still, New York Times Fashion Director Vanessa Friedman told Vanity Fair that Krakoff is “obsessed with brilliant taste: architecture, furniture, art, design,” which seems like a good match for Tiffany and its upscale clientele.
“I’m honored to join Tiffany as Chief Artistic Officer and fully dedicate my creative focus to this storied American luxury brand,” Krakoff said in a statement. “The exceptional opportunity to further Tiffany's rich creative legacy of design and craftsmanship, and join the incredible talent within Tiffany, is truly inspiring.”
The company also said that Francesca Amfitheatrof — who served as Design Director and was responsible for the design of Tiffany & Co. brand jewelry — will leave after three-and-a-half years there to “pursue other opportunities.” “She has made important contributions to the portfolio, and Tiffany is deeply grateful for the unique creative perspective she brought to the brand,” the company said in a statement.