In defining luxury to the next generation, Stuart Vevers takes onboard eclectic, American counter-culture. A cultural movement that challenged conventions, preconceptions and the status quo. A celebration of youth rebellion and boldness.
When combining words such as 'status quo' and 'rebel', millennials will find it difficult to resist the urge to burst into 'Stick to the Status Quo' of the now 10 years of age film musical, High School Musical. That is if you insist that American counter-culture involves high school canteens, peer pressure and musical divas.
None of that applies here.
Vevers powers on with his take on American luxury and in shaping what appears to be the essentials of an American man's wardrobe: satin bomber souvenir jackets, leather jackets and tough, mid-thigh length windbreakers.
In discovering the origins of these jackets, I couldn't help myself but to google search 'All-American Bomber Jackets', in the hopes that I will find something along the lines of biker gang culture, relating back to the New York punk and hip-hop scene which was the core of Vevers' collection. Instead, I've tumbled on a jacket which defines patriotism at its finest: a $79 tricolour bargain adorned with stripes and stars, and an eagle at the centre. Bookmark it for next year.
Without sidetracking too much and, in so doing, going back to the whole rebellion aspect of things, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens could well be recognised as the James Dean and Marilyn Monroe of the Hollywood Golden Age; though not in terms of career paths nor even close in dating history, they contribute as symbols of pop culture and have a huge responsibility in maintaining their images.
This comes hand-in-hand with what Vevers is working towards in his role at Coach. Much of which involves maintaining the image of Coach, yet having the responsibility to gear the brand towards a different clientele or age group. I always find it lazy when a person says a brand is 'off' or 'out, because there are really only two ways in defining their reasoning: A) a lack of interest in a brand due to its incompatibility in terms of a specific age group, quality of the product or brand message of the creative director. B) a uniform regurgitation, repeated with semi-tense frowned eyebrows, of what is a repeated rumour simply because your fashion buddy said so and your lack of knowledge says otherwise.
Don't let the nostalgic iconography of surf, hawaii, western, hot rods and tex avery fool you. For Coach under Vevers, it is all about raw, functional, non-pretentious clothing. Although the voice can be said to have toned down to a more intimate and honest approach, the luxury is still apparent in this SS17 collection. Gary Baseman, the Los Angeles creative artist, has once again collaborated with Coach to put together his cartoon visual designs onto custom-leather jackets, totes and backpacks that were immediately available for purchase online immediately after the show. In comparison to the traditional 5-month gap between the fashion show and its arrival into stores, this 'see now shop now' technique is clearly in development.
Get to it.
To be continued... #tbc