Meet Coach Executive Creative Director, Stuart Vevers
Following stints at Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Calvin Klein and Bottega Veneta, designer Stuart Vevers is leading a renaissance at American accessories brand Coach. The multi-tasking creative director shares an inside peak at his fascinating career and the luxe new fragrance he created.
Designer: Stuart Vevers, Executive Creative Director, Coach
City: New York City
Background: Born in South Yorkshire, England, Stuart moved to London at the age of 18 to study fashion design at the University of Westminster.
Fashion career: Vevers landed his first job in fashion at Calvin Klein before moving on to Bottega Veneta, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton.
The award: Stuart accepted the award for Accessory Designer of the Year at the 2006 British Fashion Awards.
A new era at Coach: He joined Coach as Executive Creative Director in September 2013 to lead all creative aspects of the Coach brand, including Women’s and Men’s product design, brand imagery and store environment
The launch: Coach Eau de Parfum
Fragrance style: bright fruity-floral musk for her
Notes: raspberry, Turkish rose, suede musk
Perfumers: Juliette Karagueuzoglou & Anne Flipo
Coach Eau de Parfum, 90 ml, $115
The Stuart Vevers Interview:
Dave Lackie: To start, you have led an incredible career so far. What has been the most exciting moment to date?
Stuart Ververs: Every stage in my life has been important and they have all helped to make me the person I am today. Coach’s first runway show was an exciting moment. I’m really proud that Coach is now first and foremost a fashion house.
DL: Tell us about the creative process for Coach Eau de Parfum. How do you start creating a new fragrance?
S.V.: I wanted to create a fragrance that represents Coach’s free-spirited attitude, crafting a scent that is individual, authentic and cool.
DL: Describe a typical day in your life. What is it like to be Executive Creative Director at Coach?
S.V.: There is absolutely a certain pressure, but that is what gets me up in the morning! Meetings tend to occupy a lot of my day when I am in the office and not traveling. After work I almost always walk the High Line home. My walk to and from work plus NYC’s energy really help me survive the day.
DL: What inspires you?
S.V.: New York is my biggest inspiration. With its energy, culture and counterculture. Cinema has a big influence on my work as well. Growing up in Yorkshire, American films felt so exotic and aspirational. I still go back to many of those films that I watched back then.
DL: I love that the ad campaign stars Chloe embarking on a road trip. When you need a long weekend to escape and recharge in autumn, where do you like to go?
S.V.: I like to go to my country house in the Lake District in the North of England.
DL: How is social media changing the way you design and create?
S.V.: It’s fascinating. You’re tapping into a whole world of what people are wearing and what they care about. I love that I can see what a group of skaters are wearing in Canada at any given moment. With that said, I do think it’s important to seek inspiration off-line. If we all just use Google Images, we’ll end up with the same references. To find something new you have to dig a bit deeper.
DL: What would you recommend as a ‘must-have’ item this fall from Coach?
S.V.: The Varsity Jacket. It’s a cool original American archetype that we’ve updated by playing with proportions and exaggerated details.
DL: Who is the most interesting person you’ve ever sat beside at an event or dinner party?
S.V.: Debbie Harry
DL: Tell us about the bottle design for the new fragrance. It is quite innovative.
S.V.: There are Coach signatures that I was excited to explore. The turnlock, the hang tag, the horse and carriage. What was important to me was to reset these iconic elements within a new context to introduce them to the next generation. I also felt it was important to start to create some completely new references, something that reflects and comes from the time we are in.
DL: Coach eau de parfum is inspired by the energy and downtown style of New York City. What is your favorite restaurant in NY?
S.V.: The Waverly Inn
DL: What music is on your iPod or phone right now that excites you?
S.V.: I’ve been listening to a lot of the smiths again. So the smiths, the smiths.
DL: What is your favorite movie?
S.V.: Working Girl
DL:: Tell us about the Coach archives? What is most exciting to you in the archives?
S.V.: I think the 1960’s were a particularly strong period. Bonnie Cashin was Coach’s Creative Director and many of the ideas she created have become what we recognize as Coach today. My favorite moments in the archive were when risks had been taken and the aesthetic moved forward. That inspired me to be bold and focus on the future. I wanted to trust
Coach Frgrances are available in Canada at Hudson’s Bay stores and thebay.com