Coach's transformation into a more fashion-forward luxury lifestyle brand is beginning to take shape. Its cool, Steven Meisel-lensed fall ad campaign dropped last month, and now a selection of pieces from new creative director Stuart Vevers's first collection is available at the most fashion-y of retailers, Net-a-Porter and Colette.
It's one thing to see the collection styled on a runway or in an ad campaign, but it's another to see what individual items retailers bought during market — and their prices.
A big part of the revamp is an expansion into more ready-to-wear and the items that have hit the sales floor/e-commerce page have a fall essentials vibe. There's lots of practical outerwear, like a wool trench, a leather-trimmed wool-blend parka, a leather biker jacket, a red bomber and a couple of cozy shearling styles. They don't come cheap — all coats are upwards of $1,000 — but they look warm and high-quality. Other items include a graphic print sweater, a printed dress, a white blouse and a leather skirt, all of which are in the $500-$800 range. Expensive, but not entirely inaccessible.
The American West vibe of the ready-to-wear carried over to the handbags, which Coach is going to need to sell lots of to make money. The Dakota, a large cross-body with fringe on the sides, is a reasonable $650, while The Rhyder, made of shearling and nubuck leather, feels a little more luxurious and costs $1,300.
Overall, it's a wearable luxury that other brands like Saint Laurent have been banking on lately. Since Coach's sales have been declining for the past few quarters, a lot is riding on this collection. It will need to maintain its existing customers, while bringing on new, more fashion-forward ones. It will be a few months before we know if they've succeeded, but we'll be keeping an eye out for these clothes and accessories on industry peeps during Fashion Week.