With his newly-launched eponymous collection suddenly turning up everywhere, including Vogue's "Best-Dressed" issue cover, not to mention the rather brazen debut of a very limited-edition fragrance with a $695 price tag, it's only natural to be a little curious about Reed Krakoff. Indeed, the creative director of Coach, who recently emerged from the company's logo-laden woodwork in a very splashy fashion, is wasting no time carving a distinctive path for himself and his new brand. Shortly after presenting only his second collection at New York's Fashion Week this past call, Krakoff opened a sprawling boutique on Madison Avenue—big news during these not-so-boom times. Here's a primer on the new designer on the block. For starters, his last name is pronounced "Cray-Cough."
1. Raised in Weston, CT, Krakoff had the kind of prep-school upbringing that lends itself to the all-American luxe sportswear designs he sent down the runway these past two seasons. His father was the CEO of Nielsen, his mother an interior designer, and Martha Stewart catered his bar mitzvah.
2. Supplemented by classes at Parsons, Krakoff honed his classic American aesthetic with stints at Ralph Lauren, and eventually Tommy Hilfiger, where he climbed the ranks in the company's marketing department before being tapped by Coach in 1996 to join the company as its creative director.
3. Over the course of his tenure at Coach, Krakoff has transformed the $500 million accessories brand into a $3 billion enterprise, a feat accomplished with some serious savvy on both the creative and business fronts: Krakoff brought in new designers, hired legendary photographers like Peter Lindberg and Mario Testino to shoot ad campaigns, and initiated collaborations with of-the-moment artists and designers like Kiki Smith and Eugenia Kim.
4. Twice awarded the CFDA Accessories Designer of the Year prize, Krakoff finally launched his namesake line—both clothing and accessories—in early 2010, with his first runway presentation for Fall 2010. The rest is yet to come.