Stuart Vevers helps Coach celebrate 75 years
Stuart Vevers connected the craftspeople in Coach’s leather workshops before he officially joined the brand.
The American luxury label, best known for its leather bag and accessories offerings, is celebrating 75 years this year (16). Designer Vevers has been at the helm since 2013, taking over from Reed Krakoff’s 16-year tenure.
“One of the reasons I knew I could come here is when I saw the leather workshops — I connected with it immediately, and connected one-on-one with the craftspeople,” Vevers beamed to WWD. “As soon as I saw the workshops, I knew I had a space to create. I think it’s a very rare but important resource to have that knowledge as a leather goods house — at the end of day it’s what we do best, it’s what we are known for.”
Coach’s in-house archivist Jed Winokur thinks the label’s enduring success is down to Coach staying true to its original ideals, and the fact that the quality has never wavered. It’s dedication to an “American approach to product” also helps.
“Glove-tanned leather is based on the look and feel of a baseball glove. There are a lot of houses of leather, but not many do so with an American sensibility,” Winokur smiled.
“I think at the end of the day, Coach is a reference in America,” Vevers added. “It’s so well-known in America because everyone has a story (attached to the brand). The glove-tanned leather — all those bags was a real reference for Coach, and we are glad to have brought it back in a strong way.”
Chief executive officer Victor Luis has also propelled the brand to new heights since joining in 2006. Under Luis’s leadership Coach has introduced a higher-priced line, Coach 1941; a new marketing campaign; new leathers and materials for Coach and cut back wholesale distribution.
“Our strategic agenda from my start as CEO was about transforming the brand and (the evolution of) its image in the mind of the consumer,” he explained.