Tapestry picks former Michael Kors exec Anna Bakst as CEO of Kate Spade

Key Points
  • Former Michael Kors exec Anna Bakst will join Kate Spade next week, succeeding Craig Leavitt.
  • Bakst also previously worked at Donna Karan International.
  • The Kate Spade brand has been searching for a new CEO since the acquisition by Coach, which is now held under Tapestry.
Anna Bakst
Chance Yeh | Patrick McMullan | Getty Images

International house of brands Tapestry announced Friday it has named Anna Bakst as CEO and president of Kate Spade.

Bakst will join the company on Monday, succeeding Craig Leavitt, who departed Kate Spade in 2017 in the wake of an acquisition by Coach, which is now held under Tapestry.

Bakst will report to Tapestry CEO Victor Luis, who had been serving as the interim head of Kate Spade as the brand searched for a new leader.

"[Bakst] brings a rare combination of business acumen, directly related fashion experience and strong leadership skills to the company," Luis said in a statement. "Together with recently appointed Creative Director Nicola Glass, we now have the right senior management in place to lead the talented Kate Spade brand team and drive the business globally."

Most recently, Bakst was working at Michael Kors as president of the accessories and footwear categories. She previously worked at Donna Karan International, also leading the company's accessories and footwear departments.

"Anna's focus on product innovation — notably in the key categories of accessories and footwear — will be a key pillar of the Kate Spade growth strategy," Luis said.

In acquiring the Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman brands, Tapestry aims to amass a portfolio of names with global reach, selling not just handbags but apparel and other lifestyle accessories.

The parent company of late has focused on gaining more control of its distribution overseas. It reported holiday sales results that exceeded analysts' expectations, a sign that the turnaround efforts are working.

Tapestry shares are up a little more than 17 percent this year.