Former Coach chief Joshua Schulman has returned to the fashion business. As of Tuesday he is leading Capri's Michael Kors brand, and, in September 2022, will succeed John Idol as chief executive officer of Capri Holdings itself, the luxury conglomerate said in a press release.
Before Coach, from 2012 to 2017, Schulman was president of Neiman Marcus Group's Bergdorf Goodman business, taking on additional responsibility for NMG International with the 2014 acquisition of MyTheresa. Before that he was CEO of Jimmy Choo, which, along with Michael Kors and Versace, is now in Capri's portfolio.
Schulman has also held senior positions at other global fashion labels including Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci. He left his role at Coach last year, a few months ahead of the abrupt departure of Tapestry CEO Jide Zeitlin. When he takes over as CEO at Capri, Idol will become executive chairman.
Schulman's hand in rehabilitating the Coach brand, which has crawled out of the discount outlet basement back up to full price luxe status, had several analysts excited about the prospects of him leading Capri next year.
Wells Fargo Senior Equity Analyst Ike Boruchow called Schulman "the ideal candidate."
"Prior to Mr. Schulman's arrival, the Coach brand had been struggling," Boruchow said in emailed comments Tuesday, noting that, shortly after he took over, revenues rose after falling for years, and market share increased. "Further, we believe much of Coach's current success goes back to the strategies and changes that Mr. Schulman implemented during his tenure, including a focus on digital and improving brand health."
The Wells Fargo team also noted the "somewhat volatile" business at Michael Kors in recent years. But for the most part Schulman will be working from a position of strength at Capri, according to BMO Capital Markets Managing Director Simeon Siegel.
"[W]e see this as a strong positive as Josh applies his successful tenure to [Capri's] already impressive momentum," he said in emailed comments. "We reiterate [the company] as one of our top ideas and expect Josh to begin an exciting next chapter building off of John's already compelling trajectory."
After buying Jimmy Choo in 2017, Michael Kors changed its name to Capri in 2019, as it made good on its global expansion ambitions with its takeover of Versace that year. Idol indicated the company isn't finished growing that way, saying in one of his statements on Tuesday, "I look forward to partnering with Josh on the overall strategic direction for the group as well as on potential strategic acquisitions."