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Coach's new name, Tapestry, is greeted with a less than warm welcome

  • Accessory company Coach has rebranded itself Tapestry.
  • The new name comes as it attempts to diversify itself through acquisitions of Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman.
The new company name Tapestry at the headquarters of former Coach Inc.
Source: Tapestry
The new company name Tapestry at the headquarters of former Coach Inc.

In a business that relies on the power of a brand, creating a new one can be particularly challenging.

Fashion house Coach unveiled its new name Tapestry on Wednesday in an effort to reflect the many brands that now sit under its umbrella. The rebrand — which had strong connotations with shoppers young and old — was met with decidedly negative reaction in interviews with CNBC.

News of the rebranding also sent shares of Coach lower, with the stock shedding 2 percent in trading late Wednesday.

For some, the new name reminded them of the 1971 Carole King classic that now shares a name with the fashion house. For others, the name sounded "musty" or "old."

A spokeswoman for King declined to comment.

"When I think of Tapestry the first thing that comes to mind is my college dorm room, where I hung tapestries," said Ariana Moshref, a 23-year-old in San Francisco.

"I feel so strongly against this — who can I call about it?" said Kathleen O'Leary, 35, in New York.

O'Leary was soothed to know the new name was just for the corporate parent and not the Coach brand itself. Still, she said the new name "annoys" her.

Coach said the new name reflected the company's history and the fact that many brands will be interwoven to create one product. Coach acquired high-end shoe brand Stuart Weitzman for $574 million in 2015 and then scooped up quirky apparel brand Kate Spade for $2.4 billion earlier this year.

"In Tapestry, we found a name that speaks to creativity, craftsmanship, authenticity and inclusivity on a shared platform and values," the company said.

In renaming itself, Coach joins the likes of companies like Google — which renamed itself Alphabet — that have found a new alias as their identity changes course.

It also joins the ranks of European fashion houses LVMH and Kering, which both house multiple brands below their corporate umbrella.

Companies have run into rebranding challenges before. Mondelez, the owner of Oreos and Nabisco once called Kraft, has been critiqued for its new name since it became official in 2012. Activist investor Nelson Peltz said the name sounds like "a disease."

The name change will become effective October 31 of this year, at which point the company's stock ticker symbol — now COH — will change to TPR. Its new website, tapestry.com, is already live.