5 reasons Coach is the new American version of Gucci
via voguerunway.com
Coach 1941 | Fall 2017 Collection
via voguerunway.com
Gucci | Fall 2017 Collection
5 years ago, who would have thought that ultra-Americana Coach and timeless-Italian Gucci would not only be on the same playing field, but also dictating the rules to the game. Coach and Gucci are rarely compared in the conventional sense. They come from two cultures worlds apart. Their traditional clientele would likely not be thought of as one in the same. Yet their narrative reads nearly parallel. Gucci’s recent success is evident, but Coach is not far behind. With its rollercoaster history and its recent viral steam, could Coach effectively be the American Gucci?


They launched within a similar context

Both Gucci and Coach come from similar beginnings. They both earned their pedigrees in leathermaking. Gucci, the first of the two fashion houses, was established in 1921 with a luxury focus on luggage. Coach the second of the two houses, was founded on the other side of the pond in 1941 with its sights set on wallets and handbags. 

They simultaneously suffered a brand recession due to similar cause

This fashion narrative begins reading even more congruently in the millennium. The logomania of the early 2000s did quite a number on the two fashion houses as the interlocking G’s per Gucci and the C’s a-la Coach both faced a similar fate. The brands were first enjoying and then suffocating under a stigma initiated by logo overload and brand ubiquity. Their prevalence turned to played-out, sending them down a road to obsolescence leaving their future in question. Until recently.

Both beloved brands are back and with an outright vengeance, gaining steam with every show, every ad campaign, every viral item.

They both have revivalist Creative Directors

This turnaround can be primarily credited to the new reign of creative directors, Stuart Vevers (Coach) and Alessandro Michele (Gucci), both of whom clearly specialize in revivalism.

The two houses are experiencing a fervent renaissance, steadily climbing their way back to the peak of global fashion. 

When Michele and Vevers took the helm, the iconic houses resurrected from fashion ashes and have both steadily become the most compelling brands of the mid-2010s. 

They both have strong a technological and millennial presence 

They both have a strong focus on their technological presence, which further bolsters their millennial cult following. Gucci’s latest social media campaign collaborates with digital comedians to turn their editorials into memes, while Coach has been one of the first adapters to Instagram’s shoppable feature.

For a more concrete analysis of the digital prowess the two brands exude, they tied at number 1 in the 2014 Fashion Digital IQ index.

They both enjoy an aesthetic of eccentric maximalism

Both Vevers and Michele champion an aesthetic of whimsical yet wearable eccentricity, which has not only saved the brands from their own cliches but has also staged the perfect storm to unrelentingly and consistently go viral. Street style or editorial, we can’t seem to get enough. 

They both value the preservation of brand and cultural heritage

Both creative directors have made it a point to pay homage to the house’s heritage with a pervasive richness of culture while still modernizing their aesthetic. Michele’s Gucci and Vever’s Coach have transformed the brands without forfeiting the strong brand history and cultural codes. Their new aesthetics have simultaneously pushed the brands back into general relevancy, become a fashion craze, and validated their place at the peak of their respective country’s prototypical style. 




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