At the New York Public Library on 7 September, Stuart Vevers toasted a decade at the helm of Coach with a collection infused with a rebellious spirit to usher in the label’s new chapter.
From the outset, a play of contrasts set the tone for the presentation, with the century-old building rendered in Coach’s archival hues anchoring the youthful attitude of the collection. Seating was arranged specifically to give all guests a front-row view of the show, emphasising the house’s ethos of fashion for all. As the first look traipsed down the neutral runway—a leather slip that, while a hard sell on paper, inexplicably flowed—it was clear that Vevers was forging a new path.
With over eight decades of design heritage to be treasured, Coach’s codes and archival language are inherited as the foundation for a new expression of its premium offerings. Embracing a fresh attitude inspired by today’s counter-culture approach to dressing, Spring 2024 offers a luxury take on the individualist style of New York in 2023. Emulating the love-worn beauty of unique vintage pieces in hand-distressed knitwear, faded leathers and nostalgic embroidery, all achieved with artisanal techniques to create variation in texture and colour. Animal brooches, jelly ballet flats and dungarees placate our inner child, while tousled hair, cherry-cola lips and heart-shaped sunglasses are the stuff of teenage dreams.
The collection notably introduced and evolved design concepts in Coach (Re)Loved, the brand’s program for incorporating circular craft by exploring, designing and learning with an emphasis on reducing waste throughout the creative process. Using repurposed leatherware and denim crafted of deadstock and pre-loved pieces sourced by the Coach design team, as well as slip dresses crafted with fabric left over from previous productions, the label is not only designing for a new generation but speaking to their values. Naturally, these processes further inject each piece with a one-of-a-kind sense of character, challenging notions that luxury means perfection. In addition, the collection introduced a series of collegiate t-shirts and sweatsuits printed with the graphic for Donohue’s, the classic Upper East Side steakhouse, reimagining its iconography as a preppy emblem.
“Spring is a tribute to the way today’s generation is writing their own story through fashion,” explained Vevers in a statement. “As I reflect on the past ten years, I wanted the collection to feel personal, too, and to capture the New York fashion archetypes that define my imagination and memories of what the city is, then and now. The collection distils these memories and translates them through Coach’s enduring fashion language—the essential design and quality that inspires people to express themselves freely as they are.”
Though it’s easy for heritage brands to continue honing their design formulas into perpetuity, Vevers nods to the rich history of the last ten years and reshapes the brand’s trajectory for an irrevocably changed culture.
This article originally appeared on GRAZIA International.