The Coach winter 2021 runway show showcased a semblance of pre-pandemic times that we’ve all been missing out on—a live show, multiple groups of people congregating and interacting, and a general sense of optimism. Life in Shanghai (at least for the most part) seems to be relatively normal so it made sense for Coach’s return to the runway to take place halfway around the world with Coach TV: Live from Shanghai.
But it wasn’t the typical runway show that the brand has organised time and time again. Creative director Stuart Vevers reveals in a press statement: “The experience I envisioned for our return to the runway combines all that we loved about live shows in the past with all that we’ve learned in the past year. It brings together our Coach Family around the world and reflects our commitment to imagining differently and constantly evolving.”
To that effect, the Coach winter 2021 runway show was a combination of a traditional runway setting with the digital Coach TV experience that was presented for fall 2021. It’s by no means a groundbreaking concept, but one that hadn’t been explored much in fashion. Seeing Coach Family members the likes of Rickey Thompson, Jeremy Lin, and Jennifer Lopez sharing the same ‘space’ as local Chinese personalities, truly made the entire experience more global.
Look and feel: The Coach winter 2021 collection riffed on retro American culture ideals. There were plenty of après ski pieces—multiple iterations of nylon jackets patterned with sporty stripes and vintage-inspired graphics, knitwear sets with intarsia motifs, and Coach-branded beanies—all seen through a rather colourful and optimistic lens. Hardly anything were drab and moody.
Vevers made a conscious decision for the winter 2021 collection to expand on fall’s ideas instead of the former being an entirely new collection on its own. That meant focusing on garments that were tactile and soft, and these were interpreted through the collection’s offerings of shearling pieces. In one iteration, shearling lined the a sporty nylon ski jacket while another saw a patchwork of varied shearling cuts taking the shape of an oversized cardigan.
Favourite looks: We’re not sure where (or when) we’ll get the chance to dress ourselves in look 33, but it’s a combination we’re immediately gravitating towards. It’s not only the contrasting combination of shearling and nylon of the recycled fabric coat, but also peep the denim overalls entirely covered with the Coach Signature motif.
There’s also look 21 and the aforementioned oversized shearling cardigan (made from upcycled shearling). It’s the right balance of winter lumbersexual coupled with a touch of louche sensibility—rugged but not so much that you’re mistaken for Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant.
But for something more streamlined, look 19 offered a more traditional Coach look with a plaid shirt worn under a shearling vest. The look was then supplemented with the season’s ski trousers and topped off with chunky Coach Signature loafers.
Favourite accessories: You’ll be hard-pressed to view a Coach collection without at least a bag leaving an impression. For winter 2021, it’s the Studio camera bag that’s available either in leather or the Signature jacquard trimmed with leather. It’s quite a unisex shape and just the right size for an everyday crossbody bag.
We’re also quite taken with the collection’s footwear. First up, the Turnlock boots that were fitted with incredibly chunky soles (as per the vibe of the collection’s footwear) and done in a slew of pastel colours. And finally, the C Coin loafers reworked in the same hues.