Often, the most simple ideas are the ones that get noticed. But paring down doesn’t come without risk.
Although overcomplicating something may put your customer off, simplicity can also fall flat. And that’s where Coach’s creative director, British-born and bred Stuart Vevers, comes in.
The 42-year old designer has brought the brand so successfully into the limelight that stylish gentlemen all over the world are clamouring for a look. Since forming last century as a family-run workshop in a Manhattan loft, the company has grown into an American icon which is now achieving the recognition it deserves around the world.
And the Fall/Winter collection, that harks back to classic designs of the past whilst pushing the envelope of both fashion and the brand’s future, is easily one of its coolest, most impressive yet.
Coach celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, and is well known and respected globally for its craftsmanship, pioneering use of materials and ability to stand out in an incredibly competitive crowd. There may be plenty of brands who are happy to rest on their laurels, and rely on their reputations to see them through, but Coach is using their significant experience with a range of craftsmanship techniques as a foundation on which to build new and exciting collections.
And this is very much Vevers’ contribution. Citing perhaps the most iconic American of all time, Andy Warhol, as his greatest inspiration for the Spring 16 collection, the British designer’s Autumn/Winter collection shows echoes of the stunning seventies and vintage Americana – an era that was undoubtedly one of the coolest of the last century.
Think shearling, think Bruce Springsteen’s – aka ‘The Boss’ – ‘Born in the USA’ bandanas. This is effortless cool, retro chic accessories and backpacks made of the leather for which Coach is famed.
American archetypes are explored throughout this unique collection in a way that even American fashion houses themselves don’t often risk. But, if the success of Vevers’ collection has proved one thing, it’s that sometimes risks pay off.
The biggest and most obvious influence on the collection comes from the blue-collar class from the East Coast of America, melded seamlessly with the new breed of gentlemen who rocked both individual styles and the American hip-hop scene of the late 1970s. This eclectic New York spirit is evident throughout the collection – and will have you yearning for yet more nostalgia.
In fact, the collection as a whole is achingly cool, but the stand-out pieces are the ones that you can imagine Springsteen shrugging onto his back after a gig, or the type of piece that would be paraded down a 70s Manhattan street. Striking then, striking now – these pieces will be both relevant and stylish forever.
And what’s impressive is that Vevers has managed to evoke this nostalgia and timelessness in so many different styles. There’s the leather jacket with the black fur collar and pocket detailing, the leather and suede-lined trainers that turn head after head – in the best possible way – and the elegantly simplistic pieces, such as the plaid shirt or neutral jumper, that have been revisited and revamped, but honoured in their basic designs.
There’s nothing unwearable or questionable here, only sharp, slick and seriously stylish items that are guaranteed to make you the envy of every other gentleman who passes you on the street. And perhaps this is one of Vevers’ most impressive achievements – he has taken styles and fashions from worlds and times we may have never, or will never, experience, and then makes them relevant and desirable in everyday life.
Accessible to the world, both financially and fashionably, Vevers has deftly handled clothes that may have become costumes in lesser hands. We can’t wait to see what’s next.
This article was written in association with Coach. For more information, visit here.