The custom runway for the Coach 1941 fall/winter 2017-2018 ready-to-wear collection was full of Americana. The runway featured tumbleweed and a sort of ‘prairie house’ interpretation that worked on the catwalk to create the right atmosphere. Though this made the runway seem a bit like the early scenes of The Wizard of Oz, that takes place in Kansas and still fits the theme so I would call that a win.
The collection was interesting and fun, and the tumbleweed was a fun little reminder of the theme and the setup, the inspiration that created the collection. The use of duck print and fringe were expected considering the theme, but were fortunately not overused.
Coach is iconic, there is no doubt about that. The creative director for Coach, Stuart Vevers took his love of Americana to the next level as best he could and incorporated a lot of different prints and embroidered a lot of softening elements into the designs for a new look. We saw updated versions of his popular shearling and leather coats. Expectedly for a fall and winter collection the outerwear was highlighted, but in a variety of ways that was completely unexpected by contrast.
Floral designs and brilliant use of dye make an old favorite look completely new with the options of Coach shearling coats. The classic Coach varsity and military coats have also been updated with removable fur collars and tassels, and the moto jacket also has patches added. Though the patches are mostly florals, they do serve their main purposes, which include being an updating element for the bad girl leather coats, but not kicking it out of the bad girl zone. The jackets still have all their appeal, but are considered a bit softer and easier to pair with other things.
When asked about the collection’s odd description of being ‘the prairie and the city’, in a recent interview Stuart Vevers did with NOWFASHION, he said: “The juxtaposition is very personal. Of course I’m referencing New York City because Coach is a New York City brand, but I’m not from New York so I walk around still a little bit dazed by it. It’s genuinely inspiring…” Vevers continued to say: “I mean, I love the way people put their looks together back in the day. It was fresh. There was a lot of energy and creativity.”
In an effort to keep Coach set apart from everyone else, the explosion of options was obvious if not a bit overwhelming. Stuart Vevers is aware that the demographics for his buyers are changing and he is willing and able to communicate directly to them. Seated right on the front row during the runway presentation was the new ambassador for Coach, Selena Gomez, who partnered with the Coach Foundation. Gomez and people like her and her fans are the new demographic.
Vevers’ clothes under the Coach brand are designed with younger buyers in mind as well as holding true to the well-defined aesthetics of the fashion house. Designing, especially when working on new options that are a work up of an idea, can be very difficult.
Photos courtesy of Vogue