Born and bred in Manhattan, New York, it’s safe to say that Coach knows a thing or two about city slicker style. And with the 1980s downtown scene on creative director Stuart Vevers’ mood board for Fall/Winter 2020, Coach’s latest take on cosmopolitan chic sees its signature urban cool reworked with a tinge of artful whimsy, courtesy of the late legend Jean-Michel Basquiat (or his estate, to be exact).
Perfectly embodying the prevailing spirit of the season are the new City Block handbags, an assortment of geometric silhouettes that merges the American house’s heritage with the eclecticism of NYC and the abstract imagination of Basquiat. The fruit of Vevers’ ongoing exploration of the Coach archives, the City Block series encompasses half-moon, triangle, circle and cuboid shapes in monogram canvas or glovetanned leather (riffing on the label’s iconic wristlet), dipped in neutral tones of black, tan, white and mahogany as well as bold hues like red, yellow, pink and turquoise.
Many of the designs are scrawled with graphic prints drawn from Basquiat’s paintings, including Banana aka Brown Spots and Pez Dispenser, or else feature motifs such as wispy clouds, lightning bolts and the multicoloured Coach Legacy stripe. Curiously, the various City Block bags can be stacked one on top of another like children’s building blocks to mimic the striking skyline of the Big Apple.
’80s-era Manhattan, with its gritty energy and irresistible charm, also serves as the inspiration behind the most recent edition of the now-classic CitySole trainer: the first-of-its-kind Mid Top. Fashion forward but built for function, the sneaker boasts an ankle-grazing silhouette that takes its cues from retro court shoes, although equipped with right-now tech — the flat, honey-gum soles incorporate a layer of shock-absorbing, cushioned pods to ensure maximum comfort whilst you pound the pavements of the concrete jungle. Find the CitySole Mid Top in solid shades of white, baby blue, pale yellow and azure, along with colourblocked combinations of suede, leather and coated canvas.