Coach celebrated the city for its Fall/Winter 2023 collection, hosting an intimate (by its recent standards) gathering at the historic Park Avenue Armory, inspired by good old-fashioned New York City house parties. “The spirit of getting together and having fun,” creative director Stuart Vevers said in the show notes, “that, to me, is the heart of fashion and of New York City.”
The opening look — a striped wool dress, distressed and replete with holes, with a playful red “NY” apple sewn onto the front — embodied thus and so too did Lil Nas X puffing on his vape in the front row beside Ice Spice.
City cool leather trenches, motorcycle black two-sets, and more ragged knits followed, before shredded and deconstructed denim came next. These pieces, paired with incredible shearling jackets — perhaps my favorite piece of the entire collection was the floor-length double-breasted shearling coat treated with a hand-finished technique — were juxtaposed with Coach’s signature hardware.
The brand, best known for its bags, gave its accessories a youthful twist through kitsch shapes: inflated lips, dog bones dinosaurs and apples and bright colorways. For this collection, Coach wanted to encompass individuality, expression, community and safe spaces, where everyone is welcome — the same way New York City is a melting pot of people and cultures, all coming together. This was demonstrated not only through the clothing but through street casting, highlighting fresh new faces, who embody the spirit of the next generation.
A series of romantic, pastel, flowing dresses, created in collaboration with artist Maggie Paxton, made a nod to both the current ’00s revival and the way New York natives expertly mix uptown and downtown dressing (girly pink was paired with black leather boots and buzzcut hair), something replicated around the world, but never done anywhere near as well.
Leather was in abundance with more strong outerwear displayed — created from upcycled leather scraps, each one unique. The house also expanded its Coach (Re)Loved initiative this season, which, until now, had been focused on giving Coach bags a second life. This time, footwear was in the mix in the form of leather sneakers with the upper crafted from repurposed, pre-loved Coach bags.
Going from strength to strength, the final few looks, including leather short shorts and a glistening black high-neck dress, were the perfect pieces primed for a celebratory after-party. Held at someone’s house, of course.