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Coach boss diversifying products to 'stay relevant'

FashionBy Sunday World
Coach boss diversifying products to 'stay relevant'

Coach boss Victor Luis is focusing on diversifying the brand's products to "stay relevant".

Under Luis' control, the American luxury accessories label has seen a gradual turnaround of the business, and in April (16), Coach announced third quarter sales, profit and earnings had all returned to growth for the first time in years, and further expansion in Europe and mainland China.

Following years of turbulence, Luis says that the brand is now embarking on its next chapter, which he dubbed the evolution of "Modern Luxury". The company will be focused on rediscovering its heritage as well as evolving as a fashion brand.

With Stuart Vevers at the creative helm, Luis says the label, which is known for its elegant handbags, is now looking for new ways to connect with the customer.

"(We’re also) diversifying the brand (mix)," he told Business of Fashion. "But nothing could be more important than for each of our brands to continue to innovate, resonate and connect with consumers through the creative vision of our teams. Nothing. Because that’s what’s going to help us create a long-term sustainable business model, and that’s where the truth lies with the relationship with the consumer."

While he continues to focus on the tourist markets in the U.S and expanding into developing markets overseas such as China and India, Luis also says a key demographic for Coach is the multi-generational one. He believes Millennials tend to study products online before they even shop physically, which means that developing a strong brand which is relevant is more important than ever before. "In order to stay relevant, you have to engage with popular culture and what’s happening in New York, L.A., London and Paris. The brands that do that well are still true to themselves and are therefore perceived as honest to the consumer," he explained, adding that heritage remains important too, as "When that is authentic, you win".

New York-based Coach this year (16) celebrates its 75th anniversary. The brand has approximately 450 Coach stores in North America, with more expected to open.

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