The fall/winter 2024 season has been rife with homecoming energy, with designers paying homage to the city they choose to call home in their own unique ways. For Coach’s latest, the celebration was both subtle and right on the nose. Creative director Stuart Vevers selected the historic James B. Duke House on the Upper East Side to host an intimate runway replete with peach-pink chairs. Storm Reid, Ariana Greenblatt, and Tommy Dorfman filed in to take in the new offering: a ’90s-infused show of nostalgic wares and cheeky references that paid homage to Times Square and Dimes Square in equal doses.
The mood of the show was pre-loved, with heavily distressed leather boots and worn-in jackets that oozed downtown cool. Perfect straight-leg denim, breezy cotton maxi skirts with hastily tied bows across the front, and easy trench coats drew on an old-school vibe, part Carrie Bradshaw, part Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, part Chloë Sevigny. Bows are here to stay, adorned on skirts, tops, and also printed on casual suits. The breezy cotton cardigan jackets in pastels and a great blue denim added a formal flair without feeling stuffy, perfect for taking meetings in the day and catching up with friends at a bar afterwards. Coachtopia, the brand’s endeavor to make of-the-moment accessories and clothing using entirely recycled materials, was present on several bags and coats, proving there’s no excuse for major brands to not pay attention to sustainability.
The key takeaway from the show, however, was the styling. Coach took cues from last season’s hurried, slightly messy aesthetic and stuffed bags to the brim, filling them up with “I Heart New York” mugs, Yankees caps, and cheeky enamel apple charms that might be a bit cheesy if worn in real life, but successfully drove home Vevers’ message that having pride for your hometown is cool. In paring down the clothes and providing a true wardrobe for the working girl, he allows room for the accessories to become the true heroes. As Vevers writes in his show notes, “It’s about finding joy and purpose in being present, and championing the way the next generation is redefining heritage in their own way.” Maybe every Coach customer won’t buy the instantly covetable fringed suede jacket or oversized briefcase bag, but they’ll sure take away the feeling of dressing for themselves, and dressing to honor the city they love to hate, and hate to love. This season, it’s truly New York or nowhere.
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