Tapestry dives into hospitality for its Kate Spade and Coach brands

Once upon a time, fashion brands were meant to be experienced by wearing their offerings or perhaps via smell by wearing their fragrances.

Today’s focus on brand experience is driving a new sense: taste. European luxury brands have primarily tapped into this space, with Hermès, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Prada launching cafes in various global locations; stateside, Ralph Lauren has taken the reins with its Polo Bar and Ralph locations worldwide. Now Tapestry, the ever-growing American aspirational luxury group, is offering culinary experiences; first with a Coach restaurant in Jakarta in March and this month, and a Kate Spade cafe pop-up in Bloomingdale’s Dubai, inside Dubai Mall.

Kate Spade cafe in Dubai – Courtesy

FashionNetwork.com interviewed Liz Fraser, Kate Spade New York’s CEO and brand president, for some insight on the brand’s foray into the space 31 years after it was founded in New York.

“With Kate Spade’s unique perspective yet universal foundation in joy, there’s almost nothing this lifestyle brand couldn’t do,” Fraser said over email, adding, “We have a strong and growing wholesale business in the Middle East, loyal brand fans in the region and opportunity for growth. With the newly opened store in the UAE and the first-ever cafe, we’re just getting started.”

In signature brand green, with pops of red and pink, the space also features black and cream graphic design codes and DNA associated with Kate Spade New York for a convivial environment where the cafe will offer a selection of specialty drinks and branded treats.

While Fraser confirmed there won’t be any Kate Spade home goods offered in the cafe or explicitly designed for the pop-up, other touches will be evident.

“The food and beverage options are sprinkled with Kate Spade joy and infuse our brand codes, a few favorites being the custom-made packaging, our iconic spade etched on the coffee offering, or sweet treats made in our Kate Spade green alongside black and cream stripes and polka-dots,” she said.

The cafe plans to be open from April through the end of June 2024.

Kate Spade cafe in Dubai – Courtesy

“At the cafe pop-up, we are testing a new lifestyle concept for the brand that offers a joyful experience and sparks emotional connections with brand fans,” she said, adding, “There aren’t immediate plans to open a cafe in the Mall of Emirates; however, we are testing this new lifestyle concept for the brand with the potential to build on it here, and for other regions.”

Bloomingdale’s was a natural partner as the brand has strong global ties with the retailer and as “the Dubai Mall was named the ‘most visited place on earth’ in 2023,” according to Fraser.

“Opening a uniquely Kate Spade lifestyle experience offers an opportunity for an expanded presence in this city full of palpable energy, culture, and conversation.”

The executive confirmed that the Dubai Mall store, which features a new retail concept, is the first of more Kate Spade stores planned for the UAE through full-year 2025.

In March, the sister brand Coach opened its first hospitality venture, a permanent branded restaurant and cafe in the capital city of Indonesia, at the Grand Indonesia Mall.

The Coach Coffee Shop in Indonesia – Courtesy

The Coach Restaurant and Coach Coffee Shop are steeped deep in the brand’s codes; think glove-tanned leather menu covers, napkin cuffs, placemats, and waitstaff aprons with floral-trimmed tableware accent the New York steakhouse vibe complete with leather banquets and a true-to-size New York City taxicab installed into the ceiling.

The Coach Coffee Shop next door recreates a New York corner store and will serve typical bites such as pizza and soft serve. It will debut a shop mascot, Lil Miss Jo, a coffee cup inspired by classic diner imagery. Coach creative director Stuart Vevers designed the spaces in partnership with William Sofield, designer and president of Studio Sofield.

The dining spots are the first of a series of additional dining experiences the brand will unveil in 2024 and beyond. According to a company release, the hospitality ventures further expand a platform for “customers’ self-expression through emotional storytelling grounded in its brand purpose, ‘The Courage to Be Real’,” and the hospitality destinations build on the success of its bespoke interactive ‘Coach Play‘ stores.
“It marks not only our fullest expression of hospitality to date but also our intention to create immersive experiences for our customers. The experience we designed for Grand Indonesia is inspired by our hometown, New York City, and the spirit that drives us today at Coach in everything we do,” said chief executive officer and brand president of Coach, Todd Kahn, in a statement.

The Coach Restaurant in Jakarta – Courtesy

The Coach Coffee Shop concept will continue to roll out across multiple locations, with upcoming launches in Japan and Malaysia in upcoming immersive and highly localized Coach Play pop-ups.

The Coach Tabby Shop will also launch globally across Australia and Asia in spring 2024.

Coach was established in New York City in 1941 and has kept a strong identity tied to the Big Apple. Having that New York experience halfway across the world is in demand for luxury and its aspirational shoppers.

“Luxury brands have focused on food and beverage in recent years. What we haven’t seen is more of this level of brands doing so as well. It’s a fantastic way to connect to customers and give them a reason to come into the store,” said Robert Burke, founder and CEO of Robert Burke & Associates.
“The Middle East clients are hungry for this type of experience—no pun intended—which gives them the full breadth of the brand design experience, raises the brand profile, and gives them another reason to connect. Coach has a good following in Jakarta, which is an emerging market. They appreciate these concepts more than major cosmopolitan cities, which tend to be more jaded,” Burke continued.

He also noted that Ralph’s Coffee has been hugely successful even in its hometown. No argument there, though Coach and even Kate Spade New York might have to deliver something other than New York nostalgia to bring the concept to Manhattan and/or its surrounding boroughs.

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