After much speculation, Coach announced that its new creative director will be Stuart Vevers, late of Mulberry, Bottega Veneta, Louis Vuitton and most recently Spanish leather-goods company Loewe, where he helped boost the appeal of the brand's Amazona and Flamenco bags with celebs such as Eva Mendes, Kristen Bell, Penelope Cruz and Madonna.
Vevers, 39, will succeed Reed Krakoff, who is leaving to focus on his own namesake brand after 16 years at Coach.
Although Vevers is a more under-the-radar choice than some of the other names that were being bandied about for the job, including Marc Jacobs and Emma Hill, Mulberry's most recent creative director; he's not a bad choice for Coach, which has announced its intent to become more of a lifestyle brand, with more focus on ready-to-wear.
Vevers, after all, reinvigorated the 1970s-era leather-goods brand Mulberry, which was a fusty British relic when he arrived in 2005. He immediately injected luxury, establishing the brand as a player in the high-stakes global accessories market as a destination for logo-free status bags. He also launched a small collection of clothing that set a tone of retro, Sloane Ranger-type femininity for the brand favored by Kate Middleton.
It's just that kind of subtle luxe that Coach needs more of, considering how much of the brand's product seems to be logoed to within in inch of its life. Vevers also has a lot of experience designing ready-to-wear, most recently at Spanish label Loewe, where he has been creative director for five years.
Let's hope when Vevers takes over (no date has been announced, but it will probably be next year), that he can help restore some of Coach's luster as an American luxury brand.
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