Spotlight on Reed Krakoff, Nominee for Accessory Designer of the Year


2011 Nominee for:

Past Honors:
Winner, 2001 Accessories Designer of the Year (for Coach)
Winner, 2004 Accessories Designer of the Year (for Coach)


Reed Krakoff is one of the oldest “young” designers around. This 20-year fashion veteran is a native of Connecticut and a graduate of Parsons The New School of Design. Krakoff toured through some of the great American fashion brands (Anne Klein, Ralph Lauren) in his career’s early years before settling at Coach in 1996. In his tenure there as president and executive creative director, he has revamped and revitalized the brand’s image and products, and helped build Coach into a leading brand worldwide. The Reed Krakoff collection, only three season old, is steeped in the traditions of American sportswear. This full collection of ready-to-wear, handbags and shoes has a utilitarian, almost work wear-like edge, yet is feminine and sophisticated, but above all, completely American with its sense of ease.

Five Questions

What were you doing when you heard about your award?
“I was at the CFDA board meeting and was both surprised and thrilled to hear my name called.”

What career did you want when you were 16? If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
“At 16, I was sure I was going to be a painter, musician or an ice hockey player. It sounds ridiculous, but at the time it made total sense to me. And then, in 1983, my mom took me to the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and since then, I’ve never thought ever again about what I wanted to do.”

Who is your biggest fan?
“I have four biggest fans and they all call me Papa. But it has nothing to do with my designs, it usually has everything to do with whether I bring home cupcakes or not.”

When you get dressed, do you choose clothes to match your accessories or accessories to match your clothes?

“I wear a uniform everyday, but I think the answer is pretty obvious…it’s all about the accessories.”

If you were getting the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award, whom would you choose as your presenter?
“Lew Frankfort (Chairman and CEO of Coach). He gave me an incredible opportunity at a young age and continues to both encourage and inspire me everyday.”