Coach is tapping into a new market of tastemakers. The iconic brand, known for small leather accessories, handbags and an instantly recognizable logo, may be coming up on 75 years in the business, but it is keeping things fresh by partnering with publications that have a pulse on what’s happening in street style, particularly in men’s fashion.
In January, Coach shook things up by bringing on Street Dreams magazine, a quarterly photography publication, to chronicle the events leading up to its debut men’s collection at London Fashion week.
On April 23, the magazine recreated the experience in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with a one night gallery exhibition at Kinfolk Studio showcasing images and video captured from the London Collections. The exhibit was a mix of old and new, with traditional print photography and interactive projections that outlined Coach’s storied history and examined its next chapter.
The “Coach Dreams” collaboration wasn’t necessarily a partnership that either side’s loyal followers saw coming, however by hosting the event in New York’s hipster capital, Coach is clearly vying for a key demographic—a new guard of on-the-go Millennial shoppers, who want their fashion refined and logo-free.
The storytelling collaboration is just one part of Coach’s strategic plan to elevate the way consumers perceive the brand since Stuart Vevers joined the company as creative director in 2013. However, the process hasn’t been as smooth as the sharp image the men’s collection portrays. On Tuesday, the company announced fiscal third quarter sales for the three months ending March 2015 dropped 15 percent to $929 million from $1.1 billion in Q3 2014. The company expects continued revenue declines.
On a positive note, Coach said its North America quarterly brand tracking survey showed further improvement among category drivers that Coach is “perceived as less promotional, while our brand affinities remained strong overall.”