ALL ABOUT... STUART VEVERS FOR COACH
WITH THREE SEASONS UNDER HIS COACH BELT, THE DESIGNER WHO MADE “IT” BAGS HAPPEN FOR EUROPEAN LUXURY HOUSES IS BRINGING HIS MAGIC TO NEW YORK
Q: What about this job appealed to you?
A: It was quite different from the work I had done before. Apart from working at Mulberry, which has slightly more reasonable prices, I had spent my whole career in high-end luxury. And American style is so influential to me. I guess theres something personal in what I feel about fashion and the way people are shopping today, which has changed so dramatically.
Q: How so?
A: Its much less about investment. Its more about items and a magpie approach. The way we put our collection together now is about believing in the elements of a look, not an army of a single silhouette. Its much more about eye candy. It just feels like a good moment for fashion seasonality, and having a bit of fun.
Q: Congrats on your recent nuptials. [Vevers married designer and illustrator Benjamin Seidler in December.] Did that influence your change of address?
A: Im not saying it was insignificant. I had been with Ben for six years, and we had never lived in the same city. This was that opportunity.
Q: So youve lived in London for Mulberry, Madrid for Loewe, Paris for Louis Vuitton, Milan for Bottega Veneta, and now youre back in New York. Does the city really affect the personality of a brand?
A: Absolutely. This business is about differentiation, and the origins of brands are fundamental. So much of the Coach collection has been inspired by the way a New York woman puts her wardrobe together, because I see her every day. European luxury is about striving for perfection. At Coach, nothing is perfect. Sometimes its about playing up imperfections, being able to see leather is real leather, to the point of making it look like the pieces have lived a life before. Its not too precious.
Q: Your spring collection was set along Route 66. Have you ever been on it?
A: Its hard to remember exactly where Ive been, because I cant drive. Thats part of the reason why I travel the country by train.
Q: Fashion is very much a tool of communication. If you wear Coach, what are you telling the world?
A: Ive always thought it was a cool brand. Coach has been part of the inspiration archives at every brand Ive worked at. The things Coach stands for should be New York City; authentic; heritage; great, honest materials - they all point to a cool factor that I wanted to play up.
Q: How would you describe yourself?
A: Im down-to-earth; I strive to remain down-to-earth. Im quite fun. I like work to be fun.
Q: Who do you think is cool?
A: Kristen Stewart. Patricia Arquette. Winona Ryder. Chloe Sevigny. Shes got good swagger.
Q: Whats the best part of your job?
A: Every day is different. The ultimate moment for me is when youve designed a new collection and the boxes of the product arrive, or the samples get finished in the workshops. Its so exciting, especially if you think it looks good.
Q: Whats the secret to simplicity?
A: Not trying too hard, not overthinking things. Just being instinctive.