Coach recently taught us two key things: First, you’re never too old to play with Barbies, and second, that during a period of transformation, the ability to turn out timeless pieces is a must. The label announced in April that its creative director and president Reed Krakoff will let his contract expire to focus on his namesake brand. This posed the question: Who will replace Krakoff after his 16 years at Coach? Enter Stuart Vevers, who was hired earlier in the summer as the brand’s executive creative director. Vevers first started out at Calvin Klein, and served as creative director at LVMH-owned Spanish-based house Loewe, with positions at Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Bottega Veneta, and Mulberry listed on his impressive resume. He was awarded Accessory Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards while at Mulberry, proving him to be a perfect fit for an accessory-focused label like Coach. We’re excited to see Vevers’ designs come 2014, but in the meantime during the brand’s transitional phase, we spotted ostrich embossed leathers, colorblocked satchels, and bucket-style clutches that are right in line with his aesthetic — not to mention ripe for fall. Click through the gallery to see our favorite pieces, pay close attention to detail and tell us: Do you see a difference in design(er)?
With today’s announcement that Reed Krakoff is leaving Coach after helming the brand since 1996 to focus more on his own line that he launched three years ago, we looked back through our archives to re-read the memorable quotes he gave us about his design philosophy, which has earned him fans like Charlize Theron, Claire Danes, Lena Dunham, and Julianna Margulies. “If clothes can help you see yourself on your best day, why shouldn’t every day be that day?” he previously told InStyle. Scroll down to see five pieces of style advice from the designer who believes that women should feel special every day.
1. FOCUS ON SPORTSWEAR
“When a silhouette or shape is as beautiful as it is functional and relevant, that’s true luxury.”
2. LOVE IT AT FIRST SIGHT
“It doesn’t matter how much effort went into the making of a garment; your desire for it must be immediate. If someone has to explain an item to you, it isn’t working. Sure, it’s a treat to realize that the python skin on a shoe is hand-stained, but first you have to really love it.”
3. DON’T FIGHT THE FEELING
“It’s not enough to check yourself out in the mirror and like your reflection. You want to experience clothing—the fabric against your skin, how it moves when you do. This is what creates true desire. So before you invest in a coat or even a cotton T, see how it feels first.”
4. LET YOUR WARDROBE SPEAK FOR YOU
“Clothes should not only fit your life but also spread the word about who you are. Instead of going out there as someone else’s mannequin, find pieces that let people know you are not like everyone else. It’s good to be tasteful, but it’s even better to be memorable.”
5. BE UNEXPECTED
“Great fashion is all about surprise. It should always be about doing something that isn’t by the book.”
Plus, see all the ladies who love to wear Reed Krakoff designs.
Since joining Coach in 1996, president and executive creative director Reed Krakoff‘s deft designing skills have transformed the venerable brand from classic and reliable to wildly desirable—and soon he will be leaving it all. The designer announced that he will depart Coach next June to focus on his own eponymous label, a company that he launched in 2010 and quickly became a favorite of celebrities like Michelle Obama, Rachel Zoe, and Charlize Theron. However, his legacy will forever remain—he is credited with being the person who made Coach what it is today, as he consistently delivered the idea that women should feel special through their wardrobe (including Coach accessories, of course). “Clothes should not only fit your life but also spread the word about who you are,” he told InStyle previously. “It’s good to be tasteful, but it’s even better to be memorable.” Krakoff still has more than a year with the brand, so keep your eyes peeled to see what he has up his sleeve for his grand finale.
Plus, see more bags and other accessories you’ll love for spring!
The White House released First Lady Michelle Obama’s second official portrait this week—updated for the POTUS’s second term to include her new fringe—and for the new snap, she opted to wear an asymmetrical, navy silk and wool crepe dress by designer Reed Krakoff. (In 2009, she wore Michael Kors.) And the New York designer, the same person behind Coach’s awesome accessories, is thrilled with the presidential nod. “Michelle Obama is one of the great style icons of our time,” Krakoff told InStyle.com. “She embodies the strength and empowerment at the core of the Reed Krakoff woman, so it is an honor that she chose to wear one of our designs.” Tell us: Do you like her look?
Plus, see Mrs. Obama’s best looks ever!