Coach A/W ’15/’16 NYFW
Do you remember what you wore in 2005? No? Let me cast your mind back to a time where Paris Hilton and her minions were rarely seen without a beige Coach bag flung casually over one shoulder, which luckily for Coach, resulted in a fashion following from teenage girls who would have begged their middle class parents to buy them one of those coveted bags as a birthday/Christmas/graduation present.
Regardless of whether you are familiar with the brand, Coach, up until recently, had been completely neglected by the fashion industry for years due to its association with trashy reality stars and tasteless American college girls. It was a brand that was not ageing gracefully, it was a brand many of us hoped it would fade into the dust sooner rather than later.
Come 2014, somewhat of a miracle happened. This miracle you ask? Stuart Vevers, former creative director for Loewe, Mulberry and Bottega Veneta had taken the reigns at Coach, spinning the fashion world into a frenzy. Gone were the days of THAT miniature shoulder bag, replaced instead by oversized shearling aviator coats and buttery brown mountain boots displayed in an edgy campaign shot by Steven Meisel. Featuring an array of androgynous models staring sullenly into the camera, the campaign was poles apart from what the brand was known for – this creative revamp would have been an enormous risk for Stuart to take in his newly appointed position, but somehow, it worked.
A year later, it is clear that Stuart’s new sense of direction is still going strong. New York Fashion Week never excites me that much compared with the shows displayed in Milan or Paris, but I can safely say Coach was one of my favourite shows from The Big Apple. White cable knit jumpers were paired with deconstructed leather jeans or fur lined biker boots while double breasted plaid coats in browns and blues layered leather mini dresses.
I loved the fact that there is a whole new grunge element to the brand’s image as the collection had just the right amount of edge to make it masculine, while the fluffy fabrics, clean cuts and bright bags in emerald or canary yellow added a subtle element of femininity.
The consistent use of leather and adamancy to create a tougher image in the recent Coach collections, suggest that Stuart has used design inspiration from his time at Loewe, a brand praised and renowned for its use of luxury leather. As someone who is usually so sceptical about the rebranding of unfavourable companies, it has been extremely refreshing to watch Coach grow within the last year into the brand it is today and one that I would willingly want to buy from.
Images via vogue.co.uk