The Kate Spade Brand Is About to Take Over the World
3:30 pm, March 22nd | by Meredith Lepore
Good news Kate Spade fans (especially for those who can’t really afford it): a new, lower-priced line has just been launched. According to E! Online, the line, Saturday, “includes charming dresses, jackets, sweaters and swimwear, as well as punchy handbags, shoes, jewelry, footwear, eyewear and much, much more.” So what does this mean for the Kate Spade brand? Really big things apparently.
Remember when Kate Spade was just that little tiny black bag? And then everyone bought knockoffs that said Kade Spate? Those were the old days. Now the former just bags brand is poised to possibly overtake J. Crew in revenues, Wedbush Securities analyst Corinna Freedman told Women’s Wear Daily. Watch out Jenna Lyons!
Kate Spade is a completely different place than it was 20 years ago when it started. First of all, Kate and her husband Andy Spade, the founders, have nothing to do with it any longer. They sold their stake in it for $59 million seven years ago, even though her name is still plastered all over the brand. According to Business Insider, Andy left to start his own creative agency and Kate became a full-time mom.
Fifth & Pacific (formerly known as Liz Claiborne) owns the brand now and owes quite a lot to it. Liz Claiborne has been on the decline for years after being quite prosperous in the 80′s and 90′s. The company also owns Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand Jeans and Jack Spade. With Juicy struggling as well (thank God people finally got tired of printing stuff on their asses), Kate Spade is the superstar of the pack. The brand has an excellent e-commerce and digital marketing strategy as well as a great connection with its customers. Plus the fact that Sasha and Malia Obama are fans doesn’t hurt (they both wore Kate Spade to the inauguration in January.) With Craig Leavitt, CEO, and Deborah Lloyd, President and Creative Director, in control they have made the Kate Spade brand (and Jack Spade) literally explode and save their company. From Forbes:
“Sales growth has risen dramatically in the last five years from $91 million to $462 million, a 410% increase. There is now talk of reaching $1.2 billion by 2016. This includes wholesale sales, which on a retail basis would equate to about $2 billion. At the end of 2012 there were 205 Kate Spade New York stores in 20 countries plus 12 Jack Spade stores in four countries. This included 171 full price stores and 46 outlet stores. The company projects that by 2016 Kate Spade New York will reach 475-550 company-owned and partnered owned stores worldwide with 250-300 in North America.”
Kate Spade could literally be a game-changer for Fifth & Pacific.
Saturday will help expand its reach even more, especially with millennial buyers. The first Kate Spade Saturday store opened this month in Harajuku, Japan (Kate Spade already has stores in Japan as well as London and Germany.) In the US the brand will be distributed exclusively online with an occasional pop up store front to help promote it.
Get ready to see a lot of pink bows and polka dots.