Before Stuart Vevers, Coach was just a trusty leather goods brand. Now, it’s a fashion monolith whose clothes every cool girl wants to be seen in. But how does he do the same for one of the most taken-for granted products in any luxury label’s stable: a fragrance? Noelle Loh gets the exclusive in New York.
Stuart Vevers ought to be made a cultural ambassador of the United States of America. Every collection the British designer has done for Coach since coming on board as executive creative director reveals an almost obsessive fascination with iconic archetypes from the Land of Stars and Stripes.
His F/W ’14 debut drew from seminal New York photographer Joel Sternfeld’s retro-soaked suburban landscapes for a youthful update on shearling coats, Navajo dresses and postman satchels. His latest for F/W ’16 is all collegiate chic meets-Woodstock, mixing flirty bohemian print skirts with plaid shirts and varsity jackets. And everything else in between has paid the same zippy salute to the various sides of Uncle Sam glam.
“I’m an outsider. I’m not from America. All my cultural references growing up were either through cinema or music,” he says matter-of-factly when we meet in New York. “Now that I’m at Coach, it feels so instinctive and authentic to be referencing American cinema, culture and style.”
Three years, five collections – and that’s not counting menswear and the pre-collections. That’s a long time in the warp speed, ADD world of fashion to be playing on a singular theme. Yet, it’s been Vevers’ most confi dent stride in a career built on stints at revered European and British labels including Mulberry, Loewe, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton – and he’s got the results to show for it.
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