Kate Spade on Thursday announced leadership changes, including the exit of Creative Director Nicola Glass, according to a company press release. Glass will be with the company until April 1.
The company is creating two new roles — the senior vice president of brand concept and strategy, and the head of product design. These positions will "ensure a consistent brand experience across all customer touchpoints."
Kristen Naiman, who was the company's senior vice president of brand creative for seven years, will take on the role of senior vice president of brand concept and strategy on April 1. She will report directly to CEO Liz Fraser.
Kate Spade is ready for a turnaround.
In a presentation by parent company Tapestry in February, the conglomerate laid out a plan for multi-year growth, including crystallizing Kate Spade's brand purpose and plotting a "return to a position of strength." That includes rebuilding the company's core offerings and modernizing its brand experience across all of its digital platforms.
But that go-forward plan won't be with the company's current creative director. Glass joined Kate Spade in early 2018 from Michael Kors where she was the senior vice president of accessories design. There, she oversaw all accessory hardware and technical design, and sourced and developed all leathers and fabrics.
The decision to go to Kate Spade, a company that is known for its cheerful handbag design, was seemingly a good fit. But the brand has struggled over the past few years and those trials were exacerbated by the pandemic, as Kate Spade in its latest quarter reported a 12.7% decline in sales.
The brand has been performing well in its digital channels, according to Tapestry CEO Joanne Crevoiserat, who spoke to analysts regarding the company's second quarter earnings in February. In that period, Kate Spade reported the highest digital sales penetration within the conglomerate (which also includes Coach and Stuart Weitzman) and attracted around half a million new customers to the brand through digital channels in North America.
Kate Spade has seen some executive changes within the past few years, including a new chief marketing officer, Jenny Campbell, who joined the company from Tinder in November. In late 2019, the luxury conglomerate announced the departure of the brand's CEO, Anna Bakst, and a couple of months later instated Liz Fraser in the role.