Kate Spade Study

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9-800-002 Rev. May 23, 2001 If I listened to all the seasoned opinions that I have heard over the years, we wouldn’t be where we are today. —Katy Brosnahan, founder of kate spade It was March 1998, and Katy Brosnahan dashed into the meticulously arranged buyer’s showroom of her company’s recently renovated Manhattan headquarters. Despite running late for a meeting with her partners, Brosnahan walked across the shiny hardwood floors to rearrange a display shelf lined with the black nylon “vertical shopper” handbags that made up the core of the kate spade product line. The rest of the kate spade team, Brosnahan’s husband Andy Spade, and friends Elyce Cox and Pamela Bell, were already seated and had begun eating their traditional takeout…show more content…
Distribution channels for apparel and accessories included discount stores and factory outlets (26%), specialty stores (22%), department stores (21%), chains (15%), direct mail (8%), and other (8%).1 Accessories, apparel and footwear were categorized into three target markets, or “design ranges:” luxury, bridge, and moderate. Cox explained: Hermes, Prada, Chanel and Gucci would be considered luxury; Tahari and Ralph Lauren’s “Polo” were bridge, and Liz Claiborne would be considered a moderate brand. New market entrants need to be strategic when selling their designs because when it comes to fashion retailers the lines between these categories blur. At times it is difficult to fit into one category or into these certain classifications because a department store might consider you luxury, bridge, or moderate depending on their product mix. You want to be sure your line doesn’t get watered down. You always need to remember who you are. Even the fashion designers are beginning to spread themselves across categories. Prada recently created a new second line called “MiuMiu,” much like Donna Karan had created “DKNY.” When we first sold to department stores we knew that we needed to position ourselves in a certain way. We decided we were in between bridge and luxury, and that we would sell to the department stores that contained predominantly luxury lines.

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