Did Coach Get…Cooler?


If there was any speculation surrounding the future of Coach, that was all pretty much squashed with the release of the brand's latest ad campaign. It’s hard to imagine a shopping mall-staple brand that, in recent memory, released rainbow logos reminiscent of LV's 2003 Murakami line and sprinkled sequins on things that normally don't call for sequins, casting the same models used in the recently released Balmain campaign—namely Binx Walton and Issa Lish. But then, that’s usually what happens when Steven Meisel is the appointed photographer—I know, MIND BLOWN. In the photos, Binx rears her little head atop of Coach’s red and burgundy bomber, while Issa peers below her fringe in the star-adorned Coach sweater (which, it should be mentioned, is oddly reminiscent of Saint Laurent’s star sweater...probably a touch more affordable?).

Perhaps the most noticeable difference in Coach’s overhaul is the conspicuous shortage in their characteristic “C” logos. After years of this C-ridden aesthetic (Coach was founded in 1941), the new CEO and creative director—Victor Luis and Stuart Vevers, respectively—have decided to pare it down. Then there’s the creative team behind the campaign, which sounds more like a Prada ad’s starting lineup than anything else. Karl Templer is the stylist, while Guido Palau was on hair and Pat McGrath on makeup.

With the bubbly, grinning Gwyneth no longer attached to the brand’s image, Coach is clearly aiming for a more high fashion aesthetic. And the thing is that it doesn’t feel unnatural. Maybe that’s because, after so much talk about Coach’s revival, the brand is finally starting to make some fundamental moves. Working under the new maxim “less is more,” Coach plans to close around 70 of their stores nationwide by the end of 2015. Thank God, maybe we can stop scouring Ebay and thrift stores for what may or may not be an authentic old-school Coach leather satchel.

—Rachel Hodin

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  • Genevieve

    Having grown up in the suburbs, I'm soo tired of Coach saturation, but I've been pretty obsessed with the 70s style classic Coach bags, especially after American Hustle.

    • Mia

      That's me! I love the classic leather Coach bags. I pretty much only carry Coach bags because I love the way they look. Very understated but nice.

  • jenn

    I'm still obsessed with the vintage minimalist square ones with the centered interlock.

    • Jill

      Me too. You can sometimes find great deals on them on eBay.

      • Kat

        It's called Gigi. :)

      • jenn

        I got the Court style on eBay for only $35 in great condition! Love it.

  • http://lilacandgray.blogspot.com/ Ellen Findley

    I've unironically loved Coach since I was aware of it, although I'm not a huge fan of their super-logo'd lines. The Legacy line and this upcoming collection are truly lovely: I love the more pared-down side of Coach.

    • Mia

      Totally! I never liked or bought the logo ones.

  • http://caryrandolph.tumblr.com caryrandolph

    Strong similarities between these new Coach handbags and Balenciaga's (also overexposed) motorcycle bags that were the arm candy of many a Hollywood It girl back in the early aughts. I'll be interested to see how this aesthetic update affects the brand's bottom line. (And also, I have always loved their logo-less Heritage line--the bucket bag and simple cross-body style are universally chic.) xx

  • Jill

    Finally!!! So sick of the obvious logo-ing and seeing it on the arm of every mall rat in the city. I am looking forward to their more stripped-down look. Get back to what has always worked - those soft, richly colored leathers, timeless shapes (a-la Bonnie Cashin), and slightly old money vibe. :)

  • http://www.madelienerose.com Madeliene Rose

    Cooler or not, these bags are good enough for me!

  • Haiku Jew

    Coach is so classic
    I love their luscious leather
    no lurid logos.

  • bluesky557

    What they really need to get rid of are their outlet stores. That's where most of the over-saturation and watering down of the brand are coming from.

    • WB

      Sadly that's where Coach makes most of their money. Their luxury business doesn't bring in as much as outlet. I think this re-brand is an obvious ploy in order to get the luxury bags to fly off the shelves so overtime they can cut down on their outlet fleet.

  • mamavalveeta03

    Classic always works. Thankfully, we're seeing a return to what is much closer to the original Coach bag. And I'm "G" for grateful!

  • Lara

    Love the re-branding. BTW it is Karl "Templer" with an "L" not "Temper"- he's a great stylist! http://www.businessoffashion.com/karl-templer

    • http://www.intothegloss.com ITGFerber

      Noted! Thanks for the catch

  • allhailandhallelujah

    what is that fantastic Shining-inspired sweater? where can I find??

    • kd

      It's not out till September. You can call a store for more info.

  • Chris

    I have a black and silver interlocking logoed wristlet (it was a gift). Should I feel bad about it or is it subversively cool now (retro)? :)

  • http://www.sandyandgrace.wordpress.com Sandy Davidson

    Oh my I was thinking the same thing when I wrote about my new coach purchase on my blog! I am pleasantly surprised that they have stepped up their game. I saw a promo with Julia Roitfeld and was admiring her bag and turns out it's was a coach commercial. Quelle surprise!

  • billyidol929

    I have aways loved Coach. They come out with limited edition bags every collection that are very different from their mainstream bags. They dont have logos on them, they are luxe materials like snakeskin and ostrich, and people always ask me where I get my bags. They are always surprised when I say Coach.

  • http://www.winonainc.com/ Edwina@WINONA,INC.

    Going after a younger audience. The first image is my favorite. The model is gorge and looks very cool indeed.

  • Maria

    I've always looked at their logo'd bags as tacky. I hate carrying a bag as an advertisement so yay to them paring it down!

  • http://blushingtheory.blogspot.com/ Nicole Rivera

    I adore the ad campaign.. but somehow the bags don't really appeal to me that much! They're a bit overwrought and I agree with @caryrandolph that they resemble Balenciaga's Iconic moto bags. I love their classic shapes and design--just need to infuse the label with more cool.

  • http://www.clevergirlreviews.com/ Clever Girl Reviews

    I love the vintage but as of a few years ago they finally started stepping up their game. That started with Reed Krakoff.

  • Maria

    I love the some of the new Coach designs. I live in Melbourne Australia but grew up in New York. I remember as a child staring at Coach bags in the glass display cases in Macy's and thinking 'how grown up' they were. Now I'm a grownup and when I was last in New York I bought 2 Coach bags made of butter soft leather, same design one in black and one in chocolate. I must be hip because my 17 year old daughter keeps begging me to give her one.