Stuart Vevers rejects conventional luxury at Coach
Coach’s Stuart Vevers states luxury isn’t just about formality and status any more.
The British designer has worked for an array of top brands including Calvin Klein, Givenchy and Mulberry over the course of his career, before joining American accessories and ready-to-wear label Coach as Creative Director in 2013.
Though the New York-based company, founded in 1941, has experienced two years of declining sales, Vevers plans to restore popularity by rejecting conventional concepts of luxury and injecting a youthful energy into the brand.
“Luxury used to mean formality, tailoring, status,” he told The Telegraph. “I’m not sure that those terms are going to be so relevant in the future. So I’ve been challenging myself to look at things in a different way.”
Vevers’ vision for Coach has particularly worked well with regards to menswear, with the fashion conscious snapping up oversized shearling coats, beatnik leather jackets or plaid lumberjack shirts.
But the designer adds edge to the pieces by merging craftsmanship with light-hearted touches, such as the inclusion of cartoon-style spaceships on jumpers and dinosaur bag charms.
“It’s about being playful and creative and trusting your instincts,” Vevers smiled. “At the end of the day, a runway collection is about creating an emotional connection.”
Throughout the company overhaul, Vevers has worked to ensure the items are pitched at the right price point.
Rather than purely offering investment pieces, he hopes Coach makes it possible to buy seasonal garments which allow consumers to take risks and have fun without splurging.
The 42-year-old had a modest upbringing, and spent his teenage years in the Cumbrian city of Carlisle. Accordingly, having clothes that are relatively affordable is important to the designer.
“I’m from a working-class background and my approach can be quite pragmatic,” he explained.