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Coach to Show Menswear in London

Creative Director Stuart Vevers plans to introduce an expanded menswear range in a high-fashion context, as he did for womenswear a year ago.

On a mission to become known as more than a women's handbag brand, Coach has announced plans to take a big step towards expanding its menswear business.

Having debuted a full range of men's footwear this past fall, the brand will unveil a full ready-to-wear collection for the first time on a runway -- in London, during men's fashion week in January, WWD reports. A rep for Coach did not immediately respond to our calls for more information.

Coach (which in fact launched as a menswear brand in 1941) began ramping up its menswear business again in 2010 when it poached Greg Unis from Brooks Brothers, who is now the brand's executive vice president and global head of men's and licensing merchandising. In addition to a recently launched men's footwear line, Coach sells a decent-sized selection of men's bags, wallets, watches and other accessories, as well as a few outerwear pieces -- all in classic, utilitarian shapes that don't really push the fashion envelope, though that could change.

It sounds like Creative Director Stuart Vevers wants to give menswear the same high-fashion reset he gave womenswear. He tells WWD that the fall 2015 collection will "deliver a strong fashion point of view."

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And why is the all-American brand showing in London alongside brands like Tom Ford and Burberry?  To “take it out of context,” Vevers said. Aligning the brand with others that are seen as more fashion-forward probably doesn't hurt either.

Coach's sales have continued to slide this year, though there has been no indication of how the brand's menswear products, specifically, have been doing. Vevers has experience designing both men's and women's accessories, but this will be his first time, as far as we're aware, that he will have overseen the development of a full men's ready-to-wear collection.