Renowned for its rich heritage and innovative designs, Coach celebrates its 75th anniversary this year…
Seamlessly balancing strong durability with an edgy and elegant aesthetic, Coach has been crafting the finest leather goods since 1941 – and although the brand’s identity may have evolved over the years, the dedication to quality and focus on refined expression has remained the same.
The brand’s humble beginnings trace back to 1941, with a small, family-run workshop in the heart of New York City. Inspired by the precise design of a baseball glove, company founder Miles Kahn and his team of six artisans created a collection of 12 handbags using the same meticulous stitch work – and so the Coach brand was born.
The classic pieces struck a chord with the fashion crowd and gradually the label began to expand. In 1962, American sportswear pioneer Bonnie Cashin designed the famous duffle bag, firmly securing Coach a coveted spot on the luxury landscape – but it was the appointment of new CEO and future Chairman, Lew Frankfort, that really enabled Coach to find its niche. Frankfort recognised consumers’ desire for affordable luxury and by bridging the high street and high-end gap, Coach rapidly grew into the iconic fashion brand that it is today.
Recognised across the globe for its distinctive representation of American style, Coach beautifully captures the vibrant energy of New York through its carefully crafted pieces. Resonating with fashion-forward men and women of all ages, the label has been worn by high-profile icons such as Madonna and Prince – and, today, has caught the attention of a younger celebrity crowd, thanks to British visionary Stuart Vevers.
Leading the brand’s reinvention in 2013, Vevers’ editorial eye and offbeat energy propelled Coach in an edgier direction, introducing a fresh, urban attitude while still keeping the rich heritage intact. From city-ready baseball jackets to clean, contemporary high-tops, the designer’s collections defy traditional dress rules, casting aside luxury age codes with their universal relevance.
Embracing the pace of all-American cool – nostalgic shapes are reimagined in a fresh way. It was Vevers’ unusual vision that sparked the re-design of the iconic 1972 Stewardess bag, a piece which Stuart believes “feels like modern luxury”.
Thanks to Vevers, the label’s traditional aesthetic has been reborn – embracing a contemporary twist while continuing to capture the dynamic ambience of New York. “I wanted to take inspiration from our archive and heritage, but to do something very new and forward-looking,” said Vevers. Continuing to push creative boundaries, Stuart’s influences evolve from season to season, but his understanding of fit, contemporary design eye and bold expression continue to drive this world-renowned brand forward.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary, Bicester Village will welcome the ‘Patricia’ bag to its Coach boutique, whilst the rest of the Villages will introduce the ‘Charles’ and ‘Mini Charles’ backpacks. Crafted from rich leather, all styles have a relaxed quality that beautifully captures the brand’s all-american spirit.