As Coach's Sales Improve, Stuart Vevers Wins Execs' Approval - Fashionista

As Coach's Sales Improve, Stuart Vevers Wins Execs' Approval

The Coach creative director earned warm words from the top brass on Tuesday.
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The Coach runway show at New York Fashion Week in September. Photo: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/Getty Images

The Coach runway show at New York Fashion Week in September. Photo: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/Getty Images

On Tuesday morning, Coach executives addressed investors and reporters via webcast to share the company's results for the second quarter of the fiscal year, a period they say represents Coach's "most significant progress" since it put into action a multipronged turnaround plan in 2013. Sales gained ground, despite the unseasonably warm weather that sideswiped many retailers this winter. And the team is "thrilled" with the attention Creative Director Stuart Vevers' collections, which are now fully integrated into stores, have been getting.

Sales-wise, "success" was relative. The brand's net sales clocked in at $1.18 billion compared to $1.22 billion for the same period last year, a decrease of 3 percent. That is, however, an improvement on the deeper drops Coach experienced in the preceding months: during the first quarter, sales for the brand were down 9 percent. As Coach execs have explained more than once, that downtick has to do with closing underperforming stores and reducing the frequency of promotional events while it makes moves to elevate its brand status. To that end, the brand has also hired Steven Meisel to shoot more fashion-forward ad campaigns, remodeled its stores to give them a luxe-r look and introduced a higher-priced clothing line called Coach 1941 at New York Fashion Week in September. If Vevers' designs are working well, they're working because Coach has invested in executing its vision on every level. 

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And they do seem to be winning over buyers: Coach 1941 received orders from retailers like Saks, Nordstrom, Opening Ceremony, Fred Segal, Lane Crawford and Colette for spring.