Casual Shoes Now Rule at Coach and Stuart Weitzman — But Dressy Styles Are Having a Revival

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Across the footwear industry, casual styles are seeing wins.

Tapestry, the parent to Coach, Kate Spade New York, and Stuart Weitzman, saw gains in multiple sectors this quarter, including footwear. The company reported revenue of $1.62 billion, marking a 126% growth year-over-year, led by growth at Coach.

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In footwear, Tapestry refocused its plan on comfort-focused styles in line with an overall strategy of “meeting the customer where they are,” Tapestry CEO, president and director Joanne Crevoiserat told FN in an interview.

“Staying close to our customer, we pivoted,” she said, giving the example of Stuart Weitzman. “We saw that [casualization] trend happening in the marketplace and we responded and reacted. And we’ve seen some of our casual offerings really perform and customers really respond to it.”

She specifically called out the Jelly flats and sandals at Stuart Weitzman, which she said were standout performers in footwear. In the last quarter, Stuart Weitzman also expanded its sneaker offerings, while reducing product assortment by 45% fewer SKU counts.

Coach also saw success across all genders with its more casual offerings such as its Jelly sandals and slides as well as sneakers.

“Our sneaker game is very strong and really that’s just been outstanding for us,” said Coach CEO and brand president Todd Kahn in an interview. “What we love is a lot of it plays off of our signature logos, so that says something about the strength of the brand.”

Coach’s footwear sales are primarily direct-to-consumer, with its North American wholesale business in the mid to high single digits. Kahn said the brand is seeing success with footwear wholesale partners such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Saks. And he expects to see them grow. Crevoiserat said Stuart Weitzman is also focused on growing its wholesale business, and already entered into an additional 90 Nordstrom stores last quarter.

Despite the overall pivot to comfort and casual, Tapestry’s latest results show signs of a return to dressier styles.

“Casual styles are are resonating with our consumers. But we have seen and we are starting to see a return to some of the dress styles,” Crevoiserat said. “And I think people [are] excited to get to get back to work and to get back to office and to go to events and weddings.”

Like workplaces and other entities in a post-pandemic work, Crevoiserat believes that the future of footwear will live in a “hybrid” zone between dress and casual.

“There’s absolutely still a place for for dress in the world,” she said.

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