“Long ago, and, oh, so far away,” began the lyrics of The Carpenters 1971 hit song ‘Superstar’, sung by the late Karen Carpenter with her angelic voice. It was one of two songs by the saccharine and wholesome seventies brother-sister pop music duo that helped cement the scene Stuart Vevers of Coach created for the Fall 2022 show.
The set and show notes evoked a friendly small-town American place. The set, inside Basketball City, featured home facades, an old station wagon, kids riding bikes, and an Afghan dog being walked all at dusk, where golden hour seemed to linger forever. A fixation on this sort of Americana has been the executive creative director’s MO since taking the reins in 2013.
Fast forward almost ten years, and distilling that design impetus is aimed squarely at Gen Z. Sure, mom and dad may love the great accessories and even the outerwear. These days Vever’s pursuit of today’s youth and their various tribes has helped put Coach’s parent company Tapestry Inc. on track to top 2021 level of $5.746 billion in revenue.
In Coachville, USA, no one seems to be bogged down in such matters. Instead, they enjoy simple pursuits and simply turn staple clothing pieces into fashion statements. The biggest news lately for Coach is the oversized proportions and then some, just like the kids like them. Shearling jackets, baggy surf shorts, and enormous t-shirts for those who prefer a male aesthetic and late 1960s and early 1970s dress styles modeled after little girl dresses—think Mia Farrow in ‘Rosemary’s Baby’—for a feminine side. They came short and flirty in chiffon floral prints with Peter Pan collars and lace yolk details; one group was endearing white pointelle crochet dresses.
“My collections often begin with a feeling, and for Fall, the feeling was love,” said Vevers in a prepared statement. “To express this, the collection explores tensions between romance and toughness to reinvestigate Coach heritage. I liked the idea of creating a nostalgic world somewhere in America seen through a widescreen lens, mixing the energy of today with the nostalgia for pop culture that has always inspired me.”
The tension was easy to spot. Immediately following the sweet quartet out came what could best be described as a biker or leather daddy; Vevers alluded to that in the ‘The Coach Neighborhood Newsletter’ handed out to guests and post-show notes. Even quaint American towns have a mysterious underside. Here, however, Vevers was introducing a line-up of archival leather styles—including a 1964 sling bag— for the next-gen to discover. After all, it is a leather goods house. The finale styles featured leather, given a graffiti print courtesy of Mint+Serf.
It was all very nostalgic and heartwarming, apropos for Valentine’s Day. The Coach family of entertainers, personalities, and influencers was there in force; Megan Thee Stallion, Hari Nef, Tommy Dorfman, Quincy Brown, Rina Sawayama, Bob the Drag Queen, Rickey Thompson, and more. They were just the kind of folks Vevers hoped would live in Coachville.