When Fashionista interviewed Stuart Vevers earlier this year, he talked about how, after he graduated from fashion school, he desperately wanted to move from the U.K., where he had grown up and spent his whole life, to New York City.
"It was the late '90s and there was a real buzz about city. There's always a buzz about New York, but then in particular, there was something very much happening, especially in fashion," he told us.
That's how Vevers found his way to his first job at Calvin Klein. Years later, having climbed the ranks and led the creative trajectory of some of the world's biggest luxury houses, he's found himself shaping the vision of one of the city's most iconic fashion exports: Coach. Naturally, New York has been a constant muse.
One can imagine that Vevers filled his mood board with images — or caricatures — of New York City in the '90s, as evidenced by the colorful houndstooth prints, cropped sleeve ponchos, pleated mini skirts and denim vests (bonus points if the latter is paired with flared jeans). This isn't nostalgia dressing, though: The designer updates these silhouettes with sharp, clean cuts and tailoring, rich colors and textures and slick accessories for a modern sensibility. Still, there's room for playfulness, like with the cartoon-ified trompe l'oeil knits mimicking button-front cardigans and crewnecks bearing a logo for "Coach Video" (not to mention the "Coach TV: Public Access" programming starring Chaka Khan, Megan Thee Stallion, Rickey Thompson and more that opened the show).
Vevers frequently cites the brand's heritage, too, as a source of inspiration. This time, he specifically calls out the Bonnie Cashin era and its "colorful, upbeat optimism" as informing the tone of Spring 2022: "It's a collection I designed in response to the times we are living through — and a collective wish for a better, brighter future," he wrote. Some vintage outerwear by Cashin was also shown on the runway, styled with the new spring pieces.
Coach's latest also pays tribute to the city it calls home by calling out some of New York City's most iconic establishments in the product: There's "tourist" merch for the Brooklyn Bridge, the subway and the now-defunct Pearl Paint, as well as tees and bags advertising Zabar's, The Eagle, Central Park and Serendipity 3. (As an aside, Serendipity 3 is having quite the moment this fashion week — Batsheva hosted its presentation at the Upper East Side café known for its frozen hot chocolate, too. Who's doing their PR?) Don't be surprised if those go quick when the collection eventually arrives in stores.
See the full Coach Spring 2022 collection in the gallery below.
Homepage images: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images