It took Coach 75 years to get here. With their 75th anniversary right around the corner the brand held a runway show for the first time during NYFW featuring their new, high-end label, Coach 1941. Staged in a glass greenhouse on the NYC High Line, the collection was a tribute to the “melting pot of American countercultures” and included everything from skater-inspired streetwear to Midwest prairie skirts. And of course accessories—lots and lots of accessories.
Creative director Stuart Vevers, showcased a collection that was filled with color and prints. Leather pieces came in shades from black to mustard yellow, skirts and dresses filled with mismatched floral patterns and every model was decked out in head-to-toe accessories. Sunglasses, collars, jewelry and bags dangled off of every girl. It was a balance of proportion—flowing skirts were paired with tailored leather vests or jackets or tight minis were matched with more generous tops and blouses.
The Coach 1941 label will be exclusively in flagship stores and have a more limited distribution that the brand’s well known leather accessories. “The collection is really building on the work we’ve done for the past three New York Fashion Week presentations, in terms of the aesthetic and our point of view,” Vevers told WWD. “What we’ve been presenting within those collections has felt more pushed creatively and a more elevated offering from Coach and we’ve just never given it a distinct title. We felt that the time was right for that given the interest we’ve had.”
And they need to hold onto that public interest. In June the American brand reported that sales were down eight percent and in North America sales were down a whopping 20 percent. Of course that’s not stopping Coach from going after the Asian market and at the runway show reportedly some editors and industry insiders were bumped from their seats to make space for Chinese landlords and investors.