On Wednesday night, I headed over to the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in midtown Manhattan to hear Reed Krakoff speak at the organization’s Fashion Talks series. Krakoff’s one of the hardest-working guys in the business, balancing his role as president and creative director of Coach with running and designing an eponymous line, which he launched only two years ago. Over the course of his discussion, I learned a few things about the designer and businessman that I just couldn’t have guessed. Read on for the highlights, then shop some of our favorite items from Krakoff’s e-commerce site in the slideshow:
- He’s published several books of photography, including one about the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Seriously—you can check it out here.
- The single piece he’s most proud of designing? His now-iconic, strappy Boxer bag. This question was actually posed by Krakoff’s own adorable eight-year-old daughter, who was sitting in the audience Wednesday evening. Aww.
- He may be a designer by trade, but Krakoff is just as passionate about art and architecture as he is about clothing—and he has the art collection to prove it. He named Joseph Beuys as a particular favorite, and mentioned that the bird prints he used in his Spring 2012 were inspired by the illustrations of John James Audubon.
- He studied economics along with art history in college—because his parents told him to. Krakoff attended both Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, but always thought he’d end up a gallery owner rather than a designer.
- Krakoff’s clearly got a knack for leading classic American brands. Before he was hired at Coach, he cut his teeth at Ralph Lauren, Anne Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. Well, the man certainly has a type.
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