In celebration of Stuart Vevers’ 10th year at the helm of Coach, the house presented a show at the New York Public Library. Once the final look had made its way down the library’s historic halls, Remix was escorted to the Edna Barnes Salomon Room for a seated dinner.
Imagery via Coach
Pink dahlias lined a series of tables dressed in white and as we all took our seats, flutes of champagne were poured in preparation for Vevers’ speech. Addressing the room, Vevers touched on his journey with the house, pointing out that when he first arrived in New York, Coach didn’t even make clothing “Now, we have fashion shows and dress people I admire for the Met Gala. We get to show Coach isn’t just a great comeback but a life lived from head to toe, completely. And it’s only on a night like tonight, with a fashion show like this one, that Coach comes to life fully for our guests to see.” He continued “Out of everything we celebrate at Coach, the joy of diversity is what I’m most proud of. From heritage to new design techniques, from recrafting our archival pieces to creating new ones from leftovers that would otherwise be discarded. It’s the people, our team, our models, our friends, and our clients, in all their diversity, that represent what makes Coach singular. It’s a celebration of inclusion that we can all share the same dream, which I am most proud of when it comes to our work at Coach. I am proud of how much we have grown away from the industry norms and closed culture of 10 years ago.”
Imagery via Tim Phin
The dinner was an intimate affair with all details considered. The menu was presented on what looked like a vintage library checkout card and the servers wore camel ensembles that complimented the show perfectly. Camilla Mendes, Lil Nas X and various other stars wore designs by the house. We couldn’t get enough of Lil Nas X’s white jacket and pant set with moto boots from the show.
Image via @lilnasxbrasil
Stuart Vevers’s toast reflected upon Coach’s journey. We looked back to when the house first introduced clothing but it would be remiss of us to not mention the bags. Founded in New York in 1941, Coach began with a dream to hand-craft leather into beautiful and practical things. In the decades that followed Coach opened its first store on Madison Avenue and transitioned from a family-run company into the fashion house we all know and love today.
Imagery via Tim Phin
Authentic American style has always been at the heart of Coach. Once show celebrations had settled, we were fortunate enough to be guided through the history of the house by Ryan Bollwerk, Coach’s Archive Director. We completely lost ourselves in leather lover’s heaven. The Coach archive is organised by era with the first case displaying 1941-1961 men's leather goods. In 1961, the house's co-founder Lillian Cahn introduced the concept of women’s accessories, Bonnie Cashin joined the design team and a year later, Coach released its first collection of women’s handbags and accessories.
Images via Pinterest
FUN FACT: Bonnie Cashin introduced the iconic ‘turn lock’ mechanism which was how she secured the roof of her convertible. Her first official design was the shopping bag, Cashin hated seeing the women of New York carrying brown paper bags from the likes of Bergdorfs. She created an elegant alternative which quickly became a 5th Avenue staple.
Bonnie Cashin’s turn lock, Image via Tim Phin
As we marvelled at the carefully preserved pieces and perused through decades of catalogues and campaigns, it was evident that Coach's commitment to preserving its heritage was as strong as its dedication to innovation. Every piece, every document, every memory meticulously preserved in temperature-controlled spaces and UV-protected cases, ensuring that the legacy of Coach will continue to inspire generations to come.
FUN FACT: The Coach archive has over 25,000 pieces
Image via Pinterest
Each year, Coach has grown and evolved, not only in fashion but also in its unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion. Vevers's words resonated as he emphasised that Coach's true strength lay not only in its shows and celebrity endorsements but in the celebration of diversity within its community. It was a reflection of the brand's willingness to break away from industry norms, embracing a more open and inclusive culture that stands in stark contrast to many.
Cheers to Coach, its past, its present, and its inspiring future.