Coach celebrates 75 years of leather craftsmanship by revisiting its history

An American classic


By Wei Yeen Loh

Coach celebrates 75 years of leather craftsmanship by revisiting its history

Did you know that the founder of Coach was inspired by a worn baseball glove’s patina and soft feel in creating leather bags? This lightbulb moment later on culminated in the house’s original Glove Tanned Cowhide leather for its bags—a material so resilient and almost impossible to tear, but acquires a heightened character and burnished look with time. Fast forward to present, current executive director Stuart Vevers has given the American house of leather a sleek new identity, with Coach 1941’s Americana influences in its collections, be it with varsity patches on letterman jackets for Fall 2016, or tough, girl-gang biker jackets for Spring 2017. 

This year, Coach, celebrated its 75th anniversary with a lineup of highlights that best represent its deep-rooted heritage with aplomb. In tribute to its innovative leather craftsmanship, the brand sourced and reinvented original Coach bags from the 1970s and 1980s, embellishing its classic silhouettes including the Dinky, Duffle, and Saddle with modern icons such as rocket and dinosaur patches, floral appliques, and exotic leather accents. Aptly named Coach Vintage capsule collection, these bags come in three themes: the modern yet quirky Monsters, the sporty-chic Varsity Patches, and the ultra feminine Tea Rose.

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A few selected bags from the Vintage capsule collection were displayed at Coach’s 75th Anniversary exhibition at Level 1, Takashimaya Singapore. Alongside that, the exhibition also celebrates the launch of Coach’s latest illustrated book, Coach: A Story of New York Cool—a compilation of new and archival visuals, editorials, campaigns and more of the brand’s icons through the years, from Fred Astaire and Lauren Bacall to Prince and Chloë Grace Moretz. “The book is really to celebrate Coach’s 75th anniversary, but I wanted it to be more than just about Coach. I kind of honed in on the idea of American style, and more specifically New York City style—there are some really amazing pictures of just real women at the subway station or in the subway car,” says Vevers. “To me, that kind of New York City style is grounded. It has attitude. Those are the kinds of images that I love.”


The exhibition’s pop-up wall allowed guests to read all about a detailed history of the house of leather, with a list of memorable moments of every decade since its inception in 1941. As Coach’s legacy lies in its leather craft, it was only fitting that a monogramming trunk was showcased at the exhibition with leather specialists offering their advice on leather care, cleaning and monogramming services exclusive to the brand. If you missed out on Coach’s exhibition in Takashimaya, drop by the craftsmanship bar within Coach’s store in Wisma Atria for a personalised service, whether you’re looking for expert cleaning and conditioning for your Coach leatherware, or to monogram your initials on selected leather items.

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