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Thread: Fashion’s Most Obnoxiously Privileged Designer

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Fashion’s Most Obnoxiously Privileged Designer

    What a thrill it is, every once in a while, to read a rip-roaring take-down! Today's specimen is Reed Krakoff, the Coach designer who launched his own super-expensive namesake brand last year, who is profiled by Ariel Levy in this week's New Yorker. Levy — whose last fashion profile was an exceptionally warm psychological portrait of Lanvin's Alber Elbaz — seems not to have been so taken with Krakoff.

    Levy seemingly delights in relating details of Krakoff's privileged background, the contents of his Upper East Side mansion, the prattle of his guests and customers, and in quoting from various exceedingly negative reviews of his fashion collections. "Krakoff's detractors think that he is a brand architect who made a fortune at Coach by marketing middlebrow goods to barely fashionable consumers, and that he has no right to reinvent himself as a real designer," reads the indictment. Krakoff does not come across as capable of meeting that charge.


    Krakoff was sensible enough not to be drawn on Levy's questions comparing him to Tom Ford, another designer who leveraged success at an established house (Gucci) to launch an obscenely expensive line of his own — wise choice, considering we know from the Elbaz profile that Levy kinda hates Ford's "naked-man-on-bearskin-rug" aesthetic. But she manages to skewer him all the same: friends, when a journalist quotes a source pointing out that the books in his library have all been opened, you know that is a source who has been given enough rope.


    Here are eight of the most damning passages:
    • "Krakoff's own house, on the Upper East Side, is not what you might expect from a neophyte designer. To begin with, it is eighteen thousand square feet, made up of what were once twelve apartments. There is no detail that has not been conspicuously perfected. When you enter the living room, you are confronted with an Alexander Calder mobile floating above the mantelpiece, a massive black Louise Nevelson sculpture along one wall, a bronze Jean Arp parked on an end table, and, underfoot, two-hundred-year-old floorboards from France. The ground-floor bathroom is covered entirely in golden snakeskin and contains a spheroid toilet." One paragraph later, Krakoff's wife, the interior decorator Delphine Krakoff, is quoted telling a guest about her André Dubreil clock, "It's pretty fierce, right?" The Krakoffs' penchant for imported antique French floorboards is a detail Levy mentions three times in the piece.
    • Their marriage is apparently passionate but Reed is kinda creepy-possessive: "Krakoff told me earlier that he cannot bear to think of his wife's past boyfriends — even from her teen-age years in Paris. 'She's my princess,' he said, 'and I don't want anyone else ever to have had her.'"
    • No James Gatz funny business here: "His library holds about ten thousand books; a member of his personal staff — which also includes two nannies, a driver, and a live-in housekeeper — is charged with keeping them organized and catalogued. ('But every book has been opened,' Krakoff told me. 'Not like some libraries you go to.')"
    • Krakoff, on his design process at Coach: "'I bang it out,' he said. 'I know what came before, I know what's coming next, I know how it will work in the context of the store and the ads. It's like a code.' [...] Krakoff picked up a bag from the table, a lilac nylon tote, with silver-studded black patent-leather handles a female face silk-screened on the front. 'This fills the arty, limited kind of hole,' he said. 'I may cancel this bag. But it doesn't matter. Then I just need something else to fill that hole.'"
    • But surely the founder of Coach, Miles Kahn, will have something nice to say about Krakoff, right? "'Frankly, I go into one of the stores now and I don't see one bag that I like,' Miles Kahn said. 'But I recognize what they have accomplished.' Coach has been a top-ranked accessories brand in the United States for more than a decade. Thirty-six per cent of the premium handbags sold in this country have a Coach label on them. Reed Krakoff made more than twenty million dollars last year."
    • "Krakoff likes to say, 'I'm in design, not fashion,' or, sometimes, 'I'm about luxury, not fashion.' He told me versions of this every time I saw him, often more than once. Partly, he means that he is interested in the process of designing things, whether those things are wallets, clothes hangers, or five-thousand-dollar python halter dresses, And partly he means that he wants his new brand to have an aura of timelessness, rather than the elastic, trendsetting creativity one associates with Miuccia Prada or Nicolas Ghesquière. But, if you make skirts and pants and purses, you are in fashion. Krakoff's reluctance to admit it is an attempt to inoculate himself against a particular kind of snobbery: the fashion world has not forgotten that he spent fifteen years at Coach, creating what one designer described as 'Hermès for housekeepers.'"
    • Krakoff, the Westport-raised son of a homemaker and a publishing executive, on why he quit art school: "It wasn't the life I wanted to live. I remember a teacher who was super-talented in school always having these panic attacks, hyperventilating, worrying about how he was going to pay his bills, which I really didn't relate to."
    • Levy's final judgment: "Perhaps his most abiding aesthetic interest is the use of design to convey privilege."
    SPHEROID. TOILET. That pretty much says it all, doesn't it?




    Jezebel: Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women. Without Airbrushing.


    I hate Coach, so I found the snark entertaining.

    ETA: This should have been in the fashion threads. Sorry mods.



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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    i despise coach as well. not surprised this is the douche who 'designs' (if you can call it that) that crap.

    i also agree with what the author says about tom ford and what she calls his naked man on bearskin aesthetic. i always thought he was overrated. i like him but i don't get the degree of fawning the mere mention of his name inspires in a lot of people.
    alber elbaz, on the other hand, i love.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    I love Coach, its all I carry.
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej

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    Elite Member Nevan's Avatar
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    ^^^ Me too.

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    Elite Member OrangeSlice's Avatar
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    Okay, good. I was beginning to feel bad about my Coach bags. I'm a purse-whore and they've held up through all kinds of torture so I really love them.
    "Schadenfreude, hard to spell, easy to feel." ~VenusinFauxFurs

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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    I'm not a purse whore that has a different bag for every outfit. I generally have 2-3 purses at a time. That's why I love Coach, yeah I spend $$$ on them, but they last (and look nice) for years.
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej

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    Gold Member Snoopy's Avatar
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    *joins the Coach Hate Club*

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    i don't really like coach either but i have several and wear one every day.

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    Bronze Member Sunshine's Avatar
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    I am in between.

    I love a lot of the older bags, 5+ years ago. I rarely find one l like now. I like the simple lines and great leather. They use to use a "nappa leather" It was like butter, soft, foldable, and squishy. There was a shocking hot pink hobo. Beautiful but not for my boring wardrobe.

    Now, they have the name and logo all over. The sequins, the shimmer, the ugly colors. Sigh.

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    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    I like old Coach too. I can honestly say I haven't liked a single Coach bag I've seen in roughly the last 4 years. And I detest the new font for their signature pattern. I want my old, soft leather, logo print inside the bags back, they were beautiful and LAST.

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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunshine View Post
    I am in between.

    I love a lot of the older bags, 5+ years ago. I rarely find one l like now. I like the simple lines and great leather. They use to use a "nappa leather" It was like butter, soft, foldable, and squishy. There was a shocking hot pink hobo. Beautiful but not for my boring wardrobe.

    Now, they have the name and logo all over. The sequins, the shimmer, the ugly colors. Sigh.

    ITA its hard to find one I like now, but every now and then a decent one pops up. Luckily for me there is a Coach outlet here, so when i do find something I like I can usually get it for more 50% less than it sells for in malls.
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej

    http://www.gossiprocks.com/forum/signaturepics/sigpic4098_9.gif Healthy is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

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    Elite Member Brah's Avatar
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    I used to hate Coach, until I found this awesome Tiffany blue leather purse. The leather is so soft and the color is so gorgeous, I always get compliments on it. And if was on sale.
    But, for the most part, I find it to be tacky and overpriced bags for teenagers who want to feel fashionable.

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    Elite Member Nevan's Avatar
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    I agree with you guys ... it is rather difficult to find a Coach bag you love lately. Generally, I get a new Coach bag (and whatever accessories) for Mother's Day every year. I actually carried one for almost three years because I could not find one that I liked and I refused to spend major bucks on something that I was only "ehhh" on. Right around Christmas last year, I finally found one that I loved. It doesn't have their logo all over the place. It's a leather crocodile embossed (meaning fake croc, but real leather) in brown and I have all the accessories that were available with it. I was pretty nervous because it was considered one of their "exotic" lines so they had none in any of the Coach stores around here so I didn't get to see it before I bought it. I'm a homebody and most of the time I only leave the house to pick up and drop off my son to school and I don't even bring my bag with me then. So they really hold up well for me. I haven't looked at their website in a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brah View Post
    I used to hate Coach, until I found this awesome Tiffany blue leather purse. The leather is so soft and the color is so gorgeous, I always get compliments on it. And if was on sale.
    But, for the most part, I find it to be tacky and overpriced bags for teenagers who want to feel fashionable.
    I remember that bag ... the blue was really pretty. Blue's not my color though ... purple is. LOL My current brown leather one has royal purple lining inside. Every Coach bag I own has some hint of purple in/on it.

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    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    Wow - I had no idea. I used to like Coach, but just visited their website for the first time in years, and I couldn't find a single bag I liked. Why is everything so pale?
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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    Plain black leather coach, one or two new a year, all I carry. I wouldn't buy the studded lilac with face print bag; like I said it is all about the plain leather carryall for me. I loathe the Poppy bags.

    Also, re Tom Ford, sorry but his simplicity is amazing.

    That Tiffany bag made me cringe; the tiffany blue is like a walking logo in a trademarked Pantone.
    KILLING ME WON'T BRING BACK YOUR GOD DAMNED HONEY!!!!!!!!!!

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