It was on my first trip to New York some 15 years ago that I was introduced to Coach, back then it was a little too logo-heavy for me, it was more safe than fashionable, and seemed a little low-rent than luxury. Fast forward to 2011 when the brand finally came to the UK and I realised that there was more to the brand than the all-over logo print, there was a beauty about their use of classic colours and simple shapes. These were the pieces that might not excite the fashion pack but I still lusted over the simple, quality and more affordable designs than other luxury labels.
Even still, the use of colour and classic styles wasn’t enough for me to add a Coach bag to my collection, the only piece I own is actually Barbie-sized, it seems that other brands including Kate Spade and Rebecca Minkoff took my attention, however, I think that is all going to change with this latest collection shown during New York Fashion Week this weekend.
When Stuart Vevers took on the creative director role, three seasons ago, I thought it was a great move for the American label, he is a brilliant designer at creating covetable handbags, he did it at Mulberry and more so at Loewe, but I wondered whether his vision for the brand would make any major impact on fashion, its reputation, and improve its sales.
Well I think the autumn/winter 2015 collection most certainly puts his vision for Coach firmly on the side of cool, not just cool for the fashion pack, but also for the everyday shopper, and most importantly I think these pieces will bring in a younger crowd.
I also think a lot of people, including myself, will start seeing the brand differently, for me this was the first time I thought of Coach as a fashion label rather than just a handbag brand. The reason I think for my transformation of thoughts has to be the fact I’ve fallen pretty hard for the shearling, the leather biker jackets, the cut knits, especially that skull one, as well as the fact I need those shearling Moto boots, like now. All that love and I haven’t even mentioned a bag, even though I do also love that yellow cross-body saddle bag with “Lucky” scribbled on the side.
There was a personality to this collection, I just adore the contrast between the utility and the luxury, while it still being so wearable, and it makes me think that this is the turning point for Coach, it needed a transformation and it seems that Vevers is certainly the man for the job.
I love that it was inspired by what Vevers calls the “dreamy romance” of the American landscape, it is important for the brand to still show its American heritage and I think this collection really bridges the gap between an old and modern brand. I also thought it was a great move that the presentations focus was on the clothes rather than the accessories, it shows that this is a brand that is serious about its ready-to-wear and I am sure, price dependant, that this will be a successful collection.
In the show notes, Vevers describes the collection as “being part of the gang” and I have to tell you I so want to join!!!
What are your thoughts on the transformation of Coach?