Coach has had a shift in audience target over the past few years. The Manhattan-based brand, which was famed for its bold ‘C’ logo it bag back in the 00s, is riding on its comeback moment thanks to the revival of Y2K and a change in creative strategy. Over the past few seasons, creative director Stuart Vevers has kept Gen Z in the corner of his eye. From recreating Coach’s classics to enlisting 00s ultimate icon Paris Hilton, Coach’s youthful rebranding all starts on the runway – and the FW23 collection is no exception. From revamping classic American staples to its choice of silhouette, New York Fashion Week’s Coach once again proves that it falls directly in line with today’s generation of shoppers.
VEVERS LOVES AMERICANA
As soon as the first model stepped out wearing a long-sleeved striped distressed knit dress featuring an apple on its torso – a reference to the city’s nickname, if the NY initials on the fruit wasn’t enough of a clue – it was clear Vevers was leading us into a love letter of a collection to American culture, a theme which had previously been explored by the house. We saw the same dress later on, in a black-and-grey colourway and with Superman’s logo instead of the Apple, a representation of an American icon. Transforming old classic American styles into Gen Z-approved clothing, the collection also gave us revised denim everything, from trousers to skirts and jackets.
LEATHER WAS THE MAIN CHARACTER
Coach’s aesthetic revival has currently found its footing in leather. The material was found on an array of maxi skirts and their matching cropped jacket, including a brown patchwork iteration. We also saw classic long leather coats, some with only buttons while others had a belt at the waist, as well as leather mini-shorts for the braver ones. Vevers believe Coach is the go-to destination for leather, considering the material used here was reportedly “natural, vegetable-tanned leather”.
IT WAS BAG SEASON
Coach has always capitalised on its luxurious bag – think of the Pillow Tabby bag which practically reinvented the brand since its release. This season, we saw Coach maximising its bag exposure, with models walking down not with one, but two bags in hand. Tote bags, mini bags, shoulder bags… they were all present. We saw bags in all sorts of playful shapes, such as a heart, moon, fish, dinosaur dogbone and apple shapes, as well as monogrammed backpacks. Bags were also technically present in sneakers, though more in spirit than in physical form, as the footwear was made out of repurposed bags in line with Coach’s (Re)Loved initiative to reduce waste.
LONG, LEAN & LUXURIOUS
While there were many looks in the collection – from knit dresses to denim and shearling co-ords – a common silhouette seemed to be omnipresent: the long and lean look. Tapping into Gen Z’s favoured aesthetics, Coach brought an array of maxi skirts that rolled down to the ankle and had a back slit for ease and was paired with a cropped top to favour a leaner look. We also saw flared trousers and high-neck dresses which only accentuated the look. Speaking on the silhouette, Vevers said “There’s something almost modest about it as a silhouette, but it’s really body-hugging”.
THE FRONT ROW WAS PACKED
As much as the clothes drew attention to themselves, the front row was jam-packed with some of our favourite celebrities. Famous artist and brand ambassador Lil Nas X, who previously had walked for Coach, was seen in the front row next to the explosive talent Ice Spice. Lil Nas X wore a furry-red coat to match his bag, shoes and denim jeans which featured a red fur cutout at the ankles, while Ice Spice was seen wearing a varsity-inspired green dress with red heel and the mini red Coach clutch to match. Next to them, we also saw actors Zoey Deutch and Camila Mendes and influencers Wisdom Kaye and Rudy Mancuso.
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