Stuart Vevers injects a raw urban energy into Coach this season, starting from the feet up.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Stuart Vevers’s stewardship of Coach has always involved a healthy dose of romanticism—a cinematic view of Americana shaped by his love of Hollywood classics. From the get-go, he established signatures such as sweeping prairie dresses, ditsy micro-florals, vintage slip dresses, and cotton blouses trimmed with ruffles or lace. Think Little House on the Prairie, but never twee—his Coach girls were usually shod in boots of the mountaineering and desert variety or easy-to-wear espadrilles, often topped with a shaggy shearling coat worthy of the great outdoors.

For spring/summer 2020 though, the designer executed a surprising but pleasing about-turn, leaving the open road for the inner city. New York City that is—the birthplace of the American brand. In place of the usual free-spirited music-festival staples were grittier, punchier pieces—bright leather trench coats, tough leather pants, cargo skirts, bomber jackets, denim blousons and anoraks. It also marked the launch of the new CitySole sneaker collection. Though with a slight 1980s tinge in fabrication and colourways, the shoes were a decidedly more modern offering that reflected the realities of how women dress today. This season’s campaign star, the Bronx-born triple-threat Renaissance woman Jennifer Lopez, encapsulates that can-do dynamism best.

The CitySole capsule comprises three styles: the Court, which is inspired by basketball shoes and their triangular toe box; the Runner, which comes with a sturdy, ergonomic heel and grooved details; and the Lowline, the brand’s answer to wear-with-anything classic low-tops. Take a cue from the runway and wear them with pieces that toe the line between boy/girl cool—say, a boxy jacket over an A-line skirt, finished with a structured bag in a statement colour. ■ 
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Clockwise from top: Jennifer Lopez in the spring/summer 2020 Coach campaign. Coach x Richard Bernstein cotton top, $195; suede and nylon CitySole Runner sneaker, $425; suede and leather CitySole Court sneaker, $375; leather zip pouch, $750; leather jacket, $1,650; knit CitySole Runner sneaker, $475; leather skirt, $895, Coach


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