Coach Fall ’23: Come as you are—a story about individuality, community and safe spaces

Embracing sustainability and inclusivity through the charming filter of nostalgia, Coach proves it’s here to stay. 

This season at Coach, the name of the game—or perhaps, we should say letter—is Z. Materializing the zeitgeist of Gen Z, Creative Director Stuart Vevers focuses on the individual, inviting viewers to come as they are. 

Inspired by New York house parties, Coach’s new collection shows us that we can find energy and excitement in human connection. It was a celebration of identity not only for attendees but also for everyone in the Coach family this New York Fashion Week. 

Courtesy of Paris Mumpower of Sun-ny Side Up

“My mom was a sewer, my dad was a cutter, and I remember spending my youth, […] with her after school […] It’s incredible that I came from such a small reality in Florence and now I can work for a big company in New York,” reflects the director of the New York shop in Hudson Yards tapestry headquarters, Massimiliano Arbo.

Courtesy of Paris Mumpower of Sun-ny Side Up

While a dazzling spectacle, no doubt, New York Fashion Week can, at times, be an orbit of stress charging at a supersonic speed. Not at Coach. We met up with one of the show’s highlight models, Luke. 

“First time doing Coach ever. Loving all the looks. Everybody looks amazing. Loving my look, and I’m hyped,” Luke exclaimed enthusiastically to photographer Paris Mumpower.

Courtesy of Paris Mumpower of Sun-ny Side Up

When asked about the favorite element of his outfit, he replied, “The bag has gotta be the winner. I love it so much. I wanna take this home with me so badly!” Sporting this season’s latest addition to the Coach family, Luke clutches a dog bag with the same effervescence transpiring from his words.

Last season, the house took us down a winding road of nostalgia. Warm in palette and spirit, Stuart Vevers showcased a collection that was equally playful and practical. A whimsical hodgepodge of knits proliferated in black and ivory variations with sporadic bursts of color. Sumptuous single-breasted leather jackets coated the runway with glossy hues of maroon, butterscotch, beige, and hunter green. New renditions of old cheerleading uniforms only extended the warm, fuzzy energy. It was cozy, funky, and very youthful.

This season, Coach served up a whopping portion of classic staples repurposed through the Gen Z lexicon. Denim in industrial quantities and low-waisted skirts gave the nod to the early aughts while 70s punk DIY ideals oozed amongst the runway. Tapping into the punk ritual of distressing, knit dresses appeared in recycled wool and cashmere laden with gaping holes. Evocative of moth leftovers, these showstoppers were accentuated with Remade accessories and topped off with Mickey Mouse, Superman, and Rexy iconography. Revamping the delicate bodycon silhouette, bulky black leather sneakers, repurposed from preloved Coach bags, sealed the look with urban versatility.

Courtesy of Coach

High necks consumed Coach’s knitwear scene with folded collars. Black turtlenecks, a staple of both the 70s and of the winter season, contrasted vivid spectrums, ranging from metallics to beige and everything in between. 

Plush shearling and smooth leathers also were given a punchy update. This time, through the lens of the metaverse. Glimmering with metallic hues, their dropped shoulders extend to oversized sleeves. A zesty spin on today’s affinity for the expansive silhouettes of the past, Coach tastefully balanced vintage charm with the futuristic flair we crave. It was daring, unapologetically vibrant, and, ultimately, a clever play. 

Courtesy of Coach

Measured to serve an exact purpose, each element of the season is intentional to the T; floor-length denim skirts with slits parting their backs ensure mobility. Keeping with the city’s ethos, it designed clothes people in New York can actually wear while traversing the five boroughs. 

Double-breasted coats further communicated the essence of the New Yorker; ever sleek and always on the go, Coach reminds us of the aspirational charm the city’s bright lights emanate. Whether you’re heading to the boardroom or the bar, the American fashion pioneer muses the Empire City as a north star for modern style.

Courtesy of Paris Mumpower of Sun-ny Side Up

Coach’s celebration of things loved and (re)loved shows us how we can embrace our quirks in the new millennium. As a pioneer of American fashion for over 82 years, it has spearheaded the assertion of American leather in the fashion world. Reborn through the eyes of the new generation, the famed fashion brand shows it holds so much more than its heritage. Embracing sustainability and inclusivity through the charming filter of nostalgia, Coach proves it’s here to stay. 

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