Coach is the most quintessentially American of handbag brands and it always has been, even before Stuart Vevers arrived to explore traditional workwear and the American West with his first collection as Coach’s creative director. At the center of that collection is the brand’s newest marquee design, the Coach Rhyder Bag.
Coach is in the middle of a major reinvention, and now the first full collection from creative director Stuart Vevers has arrived for purchase. The line is inspired by the American West and traditional workwear, and the bags have a slightly rough-around-the-edges feel that will be new to many of the brand’s longtime fans.
From the moment we entered the Coach Spring 2015 show, it was clear that creative director Stuart Vevers has yet to end his love affair with the idea of traditional Americana. From the engine sounds on the soundtrack to the flat, dusty West Texas vistas on the walls, the theme was much subtler in the bags, outwear and clothes than it was in the collection’s surroundings.
As we all know, Coach is in the middle of a rebranding effort to make itself palatable to a more discerning, higher-spending clientele, and it looks like that transition has now begun in earnest. Although Stuart Vevers’ first Coach collection has yet to start arriving in stores, the brand’s extremely slick ad campaign has already made the rounds, and now we have our first glimpse at the brand’s first in-store installation under its new creative director.
It’s no secret that Coach is in flux. After the departure of longtime creative head Reed Krakoff, the company has decided to pivot its public image in a more fashion-savvy direction. First, that meant bringing on handbag savant Stuart Vevers, late of Loewe and Mulberry, and allowing him to set a tone for the brand’s aesthetic future.