It’s a season of many firsts for Coach. Not only did Stuart Vevers debut his first full collection as executive creative director, the unveiling of the fall/winter 2014 presentation took place during New York Fashion Week—a first in the brand’s 73-year history.

The verdict? Vevers, who has an extensive background in the luxury leather goods arena (having previously worked at Mulberry, Bottega Veneta and Loewe), remained loyal to Coach’s forte with a wide range of bags, from cross-body purses to clutches. But it wasn’t the bags that had everyone a-twitter, it was the head-to-toe looks—a markedly modern (even, dare we say it, edgy) departure from the past. News flash: Coach is cool. 

“Coach has a really unique proposition—beautiful, well-crafted pieces. I want to uphold that but push forward a new aesthetic,” Vevers told InStyle.com exclusively. “It’s time to do something different and new. For me, it was about rediscovering what Coach makes unique, so the collection was about playing the cool urban references of New York, it was about playing the juxtaposition of utility against luxury.”

Though if Vevers had to sum up his line in one word, it’d be: “shearling.” Sure enough, the textile was  seen woven throughout, on shoes, on bags, on jackets. And to further drive home his evident partiality to shearling, he names the blonde sheepskin coat (above, right) as his personal favorite.

Coach FW 2014 NYFW

Courtesy Photo (3)

Of course, Vevers is aware not everyone will be on board with Coach’s new look. The brand is so inherently, whole-heartedly American, after all. But the British designer figured it out: “I deliberately referenced the familiar, like a jean jacket, a sweatshirt—all those constructions that people associate with America and American cinema. That’s potentially the fastest way to reintroduce Coach, because there’s a familiarity about it.” That also explains the whimsical sweater that proudly broadcasts an Apollo rocket ship (above, center)—a playful addition to the collection that also serves as a fervent display of American patriotism.

All in all, Vevers goal was to make his introductory collection “fun, cool, modern, updated and youthful.” We think he succeeded! What do you think of Coach’s new vision? Sound off below.

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