Coach designer Stuart Vevers on his fall essentials — from vintage bags to dinosaur stickers

Like many of the handbags he’s designed, Stuart Vevers personifies “It.” After kicking off his career at Calvin Klein, followed by accessory-design gigs at Bottega Veneta, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton, as well as creative-director takeovers at Mulberry and Loewe, it’s safe to say that Vevers, 45, knows what his luxe clientele craves. Indeed, since taking on the role of executive creative director at Coach in 2013, the Britain-born designer has reinvigorated the 77-year-old American brand by mixing doses of practicality (outerwear has become a house signature) with whimsy (both Mickey Mouse and Rexy — his own dinosaur creation — have popped up on pieces). With celebrities like Selena Gomez and Michael B. Jordan supporting the brand (Gomez as collaborator, Jordan as ambassador) and a 2017 nod from the Council of Fashion Designers of America as accessory designer of the year, Vevers’ star continues to burn bright. His newly opened pop-up, Coach Originals (through Sept. 15, inside the brand’s flagship at 685 Fifth Ave.) revisits vintage and vintage-inspired Coach bags. Read on to learn what inspires his imaginative world.

“I enjoy exploring America, and one ofthe best ways to do it is on a double-decker
Amtrak train. My favorites are the Sunset Limited, which runs from LA to New Orleans, and the Empire Builder, which runs from Chicago to Seattle. You go from desert to swamp, to mountains and beyond.”

“This is the piece of art that I’d really love to own. I love the bright shoes set against the black background, covered in sparkling dust.”

“My husband, Ben, bought this vintage bag for me for my first day at Coach. This year, I’m excited the ‘Musette,’ and other archive bags, have been specially restored and will be available as part of Coach Originals, which launches in September.”

“[Photographer] Joel Sternfeld is known for his strong sense of narrative and is a huge inspiration to me. I was in [former Coach CEO] Lew Frankfort’s office one day when I saw this book on his desk. It felt so serendipitous. I went on to use these photographs of the High Line as the backdrop for my first-ever Coach campaign with Steven Meisel.”

“There is nothing more luxurious than an open fire in a beautiful fireplace. One of my favorite things is the Arts and Crafts fireplace in my vacation home in the countryside in England.”

“My favorite fragrance — I think it smells of clean laundry.”

“I keep a collection of vinyl in my vacation home in England. This is one of my favorite albums to play on vinyl — the band is from Sheffield in England, which is close to my hometown, and I grew up listening to their music. The album cover has a great image of Phil Oakey with cool graphics.”

“Rexy appeared in my very first runway show for Coach. People fell in love with her immediately, and she still frequently appears in collections. I love that we have such an unexpected mascot.”

“My favorite cartoon character is Snoopy. He’s mischievous, a bit of a rebel, and totally chilled out. I imagine it would be fun hanging out with him in real life.”

“I pick up stickers wherever I go and keep a large box of them in my office. I like to use them to turn serious-looking stationery into something more playful and personal. Of course, I particularly like the dinosaur ones.”


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