If you stand on the corner of 5th Avenue and East 78th Street, the view of the James B. Duke House—a French classical mansion flanking the right bank of Central Park—provides a great canvas to observe the everyday movements of New Yorkers. The limestone building, which is currently home to New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, sees a gaggle of students and socialites cross its path each day. But for one fall afternoon during New York Fashion Week, the sartorial rhythms of its exterior fell inside its dramatic walls. It was here where Coach staged its Fall/Winter 2024 collection presentation—a range inspired by the interior lives of quotidian Manhattanites.
After a landmark Spring/Summer 2024 season celebrating a decade at the helm of the quintessential American leather maison, Stuart Vevers extrapolated on the rhythms of the everyday. In turn, offering a new uniform designed to enrich the mundane. Yes, the Coach customer enjoys luxury, but they also have to tackle the sights and sounds of the concrete jungle in which they call home. If Balencaiga’s Pre-Fall 2024 collection was the template for West Coast dressing, let Coach’s procession of tailoring, outerwear and all-American collegiate dress be the precedent for the East Coast’s metropolis.
Eschewing the sense of spectacle and whimsicality that underscored Coach’s previous season, the luxuriate operated with a sense of pragmatism. A languid New Yorker wants inconspicuousness, and this is what Coach displayed in spades; oversized double-breasted blazers large enough to fit a jersey hooded sweater underneath, smart shirting with unfussy exaggerated sleeves, satin lapels to showcase one’s personality.
Coats were featured prominently this season. Leather trenches offset the intentionally distressed moto boots and both floor-length peacoats and drop-line hoodies were fashioned into dresses. Toward the end of the collection, Coach provided a procession of American history through an evolution of outerwear; the fringed suede Western coats of frontier settlers and the denim jackets of off-duty screen stars. While Coach had honed in on leather fabrics in past seasons, denim was a notable motif in this suite. However, rather than jeans feeling too primed and polished, the wide-leg styles were deliberately sordid and featured raw hems along the seam. As it was revealed after the show, the collection was predominantly comprised of upcycled fabrics repurposed for the collection—go figure.
This notion of being purposely weathered gave the collection a sense of being lived in, with crinkled crepe camisoles or cable knit sweaters easy to throw on and go. (The latter, complete with saccharine cloud, rubber duck and bow motifs will certainly draw in first-time luxury consumers or the fashion savants looking to heal their inner child.) In his eleventh year as an official New Yorker—English-born Vevers relocated for the role at Coach—the timing felt pertinent to pay homage to the city itself.
Both New York’s iconography and the wares of its inhabitants were rendered in Coach’s codes. This was particularly discernable in the accessories and bag charms. Trophies of New York were tied at arm’s length. Who needs to take the Staten Island Ferry to visit the Statue of Liberty when there’s one hanging off your bag? ‘I Heart NY’ mugs and street cart pretzels also clung to the oversized totes. A shiny ‘Big Apple’ charm was also a glimpse into Ververs’ playfulness. Start spreading the news, Coach wants you to be part of it, too. Put on your vagabond shoes and start dressing for the city that never sleeps. You’re perpetually king of the hill in Coach’s designs.
The story first appeared originally on GRAZIA International.