IN THE BAG
Coach’s Stuart Vevers and his muse Chloë Grace Moretz are redefining the idea of luxury.
here’s the thing about luxury brands: Part of their mystique is that they are unattainable to most. But Coach isn’t about intimidation, asserts Stuart Vevers, the brand’s executive creative director. “Coach is not just about a status of wealth; it’s about a certain ease,” he says at the launch of the American fashion house’s latest fragrance, Coach Eau de Parfum, in New York City. “It’s about playing with what I consider to be the new codes of luxury.” When he was deciding on the notes for the scent, it was the Coach girl—someone with a “downtown” sort of attitude, says perfumer Juliette Karagueuzoglou—that Vevers had top of mind. He pictured a young woman heading out on an adventure, much like the cross-country road trip that Chloë Grace Moretz, the face of the fragrance, took to celebrate her 18th birthday last year. “It isn’t about a fantasy jet-set lifestyle,” he explains. (Think a windblown Moretz in a vintage Cadillac, not a reality-TV star flossing in a Rolls-Royce Ghost.) “A sense of inspiration, joy and optimism is at the heart of this fragrance.”
1. LEAN IN. “I love that the fragrance really does capture the idea of young women right now,” says Moretz. “It has notes of Turkish rose and raspberry, which are sweet and soft and light, and then it has a sexy sandalwood leather and musk. These notes allow you to embrace your sensuality, which is what we are finally doing. We understand that we don’t have to be ’80s CEO power women, and we also don’t have to be ’50s housewives. We can wear a floral sweater and still be the CEO of a company.”
2. EMBRACE NOSTALGIA. “I’m an outsider,” says the British-born Vevers. “I’m not from America, and all my culture references growing up were either through cinema or music. Now that I’m at Coach, it felt so instinctive and authentic to be referencing American cinema, culture and style. Because I grew up learning about American culture through cinema, everything to me has this kind of Hollywood glow to it.”
3. TAKE RISKS. “Part of my role is to challenge and push myself, the company and all of us who work there,” says Vevers. “Fashion is about looking forward and experimenting; it’s also sometimes about rebelling and challenging the status quo. Those are qualities that the Coach girl has. One of the reasons we’re still referencing what Bonnie Cashin [the brand’s first creative director] did in the ’60s is because she took a risk. She wasn’t afraid to move Coach forward.” Moretz says that coming out about her recent relationship with Brooklyn Beckham was a huge risk. “It was a really big deal for me; I’d never done that before. We spent a week together in L.A., and it was like eight paparazzi every day. It was crazy, but at the same time it was dope. I was like, ‘Look, we don’t have to hide when we go to the movie theatre. We can just say “Fuck it” and hold hands and be a couple and not worry about being seen.’ These outside forces put a lot of pressure on a relationship. It’s also really freeing.”
4. NO NEW FRIENDS IS NOT YOUR THING. “The idea of exclusivity needs revision,” says Vevers. “Sometimes exclusivity just means excluded, and that doesn’t feel modern to me. It belongs to another time, and I think that today it’s about being inclusive. When I think of myself growing up, with my background in the north of England, I loved fashion. And I hate the idea of me walking into a boutique and feeling excluded by either attitude or price. I think luxury can be friendly.” Moretz agrees: “Exclusivity is out the window,” she says. “The idea of only having your little clique of friends is done. I have the most varied group of friends—in varying age ranges, all over the world, in different socio-economic situations—and I think that our generation is a generation of freedom in a lot of ways, which is cool.”
The bottle’s design is a nod to classic Coach elements: a gold turn lock reminiscent of the clasp on the brand’s handbags, a hang tag and the horse-andcarriage logo. Coach Eau de Parfum Spray ($90 for 50 mL). For details, see Shopping Guide.
Vevers often references films by American director Terrence Malick. Above: Days of Heaven and Badlands
“I wanted to use Coach’s story and heritage as a touchstone for this fragrance,” says Vevers, below.