Stuart Vevers, creative director at Coach 1941, sits down to talk about the fashion house's colourful West Coast-inspired 2019-2020 Fall/Winter collection.
Stuart Vevers is in a psychedelic mood this season. "Right now I love color, light, optimism" he declares, at the start of the 2019 Fall/Winter Show by Coach 1941 at New York Fashion Week. "I wanted to create a collection that really celebrates color."
While it is true that the American luxury brand has a long tradition in the leather sector (78 years, exactly), clothing remains a relatively unexplored territory. Vevers has managed to build the ready-to-wear identity of the brand thanks to its ability to explore American craftsmanship in a new way every season.
For AW 19, Vevers teams up with designer and textile artist Kaffe Fassett, and the current inspiration is the West Coast. The result? An explosion of colors, every single detail an ode to American artisanal craft. "I think the real novelty is the way we built the clothes in addition to the prints," he says, "and at the same time we continue to explore the idea of American craftsmanship through elements such as quilts, embroidery, even needle, finishes and lace details" .
Another constant of Coach 1941 – the high-rate front row of celebrities – certainly helps. "Kaffe will be there, of course; There's Michael B. Jordan, who wants something from the collection, so I'm trying to figure out which garments can fit for him; and Chloë Grace Moretz, who was also at the Shanghai Fashion show in December", the designer says. "I'm thrilled."
Maisie Williams, Iris Law, Joan Smalls, Paloma Elsesser, Camila Morrone, Dylan Sprouse, Jon Batiste, and Jackson and Satchel Lee who likely be there too.
Vevers touches on the new location for the show, the power of color and the West Coast aesthetics of Fassett from which the collection is inspired.
On the importance of color
"I was thinking about the psychedelic experience, how it can change our point of view, open our minds. And how sometimes losing control can open us up to a more amplified and more intense relationship with color, nature and emotions. Kaffe often talks about how color can change our lives, and I wanted to transfer this idea into clothes."
On his collaboration with Kaffe Fassett, master of color
"I did the classic drive from LA to San Francisco, and this helped acquaint me with the work of Kaffe Fassett. His style has that classic West Coast aesthetic that immediately struck me. I was lucky, the idea of working together appealed to him too, and we chose the prints directly from his archives: some are very similar to the original, others we have redrawn together. Kaffe is famous for his prints, quilts, needlework and knitting, so we incredibly inspired by all of his works when creating the prints for the new collection."
On making authentically American Outerwear
"This season sees a return of styles more authentically American, durable, cool. We wanted to play with our signature material, shearling, and color, creating overlays that let the color shine through the material. In other garments, Coach 1941's classic print is superimposed on shearling, for a bolder touch. And we played a lot with super-light skin in bright colors. And then there's a series of military styles, which the prints of Kaffe Fassett help appear much more spontaneous."
On blending print and color
"Even bags this season have something very graphic and textured, a sporty mood. We combined prints and color on our leather creations: we printed the leathers, played with textures and embossed or engraved prints.
On the change of location at NYFW
"What I like about the new location, the American Stock Exchange, are the gigantic windows that let in the light: I really wanted to enhance the colors with natural light. At some point in the show we play with prismatic mirrors, sparkling lights and rotating sculptures to create rainbow-shaped psychedelic lights."