New York Powerhouses: Coach

Creative Director Stuart Vevers and muse Tommy Dorfman get real.

New York is back, baby. And Coach knows it. Just a few days after debuting the SS22 collection—a personal celebration of the city he calls home—creative director Stuart Vevers linked up with his friend, actress Tommy Dorfman, to discuss the brand’s past, present, and future.

Tommy wears all clothing and accessories Coach

Tommy Dorfman: What inspired you with the SS22 collection?

Stuart Vevers: It had to feel like a fresh start in a way, for me. The world is still so challenging so I wanted to look forward with optimism for the future. So, it became this conversation between me, [Coach’s first designer] Bonnie Cashin, and the next generation.

TD: What was so fun to see in this collection was the flexibility of it. I think that wearability in a pre-pandemic world wouldn’t be nearly as fashionable as it is now. The show was felt day, it felt night, it felt morning, and morning after.

SV: Actually my graduate collection was called “The Morning After!” We make things all over the world but New York is our home, more than ever during the pandemic. Recently, I wanted to make sure we were giving back to our industry, so we worked with different manufacturers in New York to keep them afloat during this time.

TD: And what about sustainability in the brand and moving forward?

SV: It’s all of our responsibility. So, I actually use the runway show as a laboratory. We started presenting vintage as part of our collections to show that you have to really love things for them to have longevity. And it sparked a much bigger program at Coach where we started to take back the product, to reinvent it and to refurbish it.

TD: That’s so smart, because these are timeless pieces. I have three Coach bags from my mom that I still wear.

SV: I often approach sustainability with fear. And that’s why you have to shift your mindset. It’s like, “No, I’m just gonna do it. I’m gonna do some of it wrong. But I’m gonna learn by experimenting.”

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