The Real Deal New York

Coach sues former creative head for allegedly failing to pay sublease

Reed Krakoff closed boutique shop at 831 Madison Ave. earlier this year

December 11, 2015 03:00PM
By Rich Bockmann

Reed Krakoff and his store at 831 Madison Avenue

Reed Krakoff and his store at 831 Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side

In what should be a well-accessorized legal showdown, handbag company Coach is suing former creative director Reed Krakoff for allegedly failing to pay rent at the Upper East Side store he subleased for his own boutique label.

Krakoff, who took the job as creative director of the fashion firm in 1997, started his own eponymous line while at the company in 2010, selling handbags and other accessories.

The new company launched with a flagship store at 831 Madison Avenue in a space Krakoff subleased from Coach, not far from a townhouse he owned about a block away at 113-115 East 70th Street, according to a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court Friday. It also opened another location subleased from Coach at the Woodbury Commons outlet mall in Upstate New York.

Krakoff bought the company from his employer in 2013 as he made plans to step down from Coach.

Earlier this year Krakoff’s company went through a restructuring to “refocus on the accessible luxury segment of the accessories market,” Women’s Wear Daily reported.

His company stopped making rent payments at both stores in August according to Coach’s lawsuit, which is seeking damages of more than $1 million in unpaid rent and taxes.

Krakoff could not be reached for comment.