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Coach Stuart Vevers on sustainability in fashion: change must come from designers | New York Fashion Week

Coach Stuart Vevers on sustainability in fashion: change must come from designers |  New York Fashion Week


WWhat's the point of fashion shows now that social media is bringing new trends to every phone, every day of the year? [It] has to be about sustainability, says Stuart Vevers, the British designer who has spent the last decade bringing fashion credibility and a fresh point of view to once-serious American handbag brand Coach.

Fashion Weeks hand the microphone of the cultural conversation to designers, and Vevers wants to use its airtime to examine areas where sustainability can be developed. Where we can scale is where we can make an impact.

The elegant Central Park townhouse and celebrity-filled front row were standard New York Fashion Week fare for a $5 billion designer brand, but nothing else in the show didn't match it. 'was.

The leather on the chunky biker boots has been scuffed, not as a fashion statement, but because that's what boots look like when made from recycled leather.

Vevers was particularly pleased with the jeans sculpted into this season's wide-leg silhouette using scraps of old denim. Denim is a really exciting opportunity to reuse post-consumer clothing, essentially end-of-life pieces. There are people who collect and sort post-consumer denim, so we now have the contacts to be able to work on a large scale, he said before the show.

I no longer think it is acceptable for me, as a designer, to leave sustainability as a concern for factories and suppliers. Fashion starts with design, so change must come from the designers.

Which means that instead of designing an outfit and then searching for sustainable fabrics to make it with, Vevers starts with the most sustainable manufacturing options, like pieces of old jeans, and figures out the most beautiful way to use them. . Cotton is purchased to support regenerative agriculture projects.

Not everything will work but I try to explore ideas without fear. Fear held me back, I worried: Am I going to be judged if this doesn't work? so I realized I just had to try it anyway.

Yorkshire-born Vevers credits a decade spent in his adopted city, where he lives with his husband and their three-year-old twins, River and Vivienne, for a real passion for sustainability.

I'm not interested in escaping, I'm interested in the future. I spend a lot of time looking forward. There's something about New York that does that to you.

New York has also made him a romantic, especially when fashion week falls around Valentine's Day. There's something very special about people falling in love in New York. This city is the perfect setting for love stories.

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The show began with Audrey Hepburn singing Moon River; these scuffed boots were worn with ballet slipper pink upcycled taffeta skirts. On the mood board for this collection were two iconic New York couples: Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and John F Kennedy, as well as Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet.

Bessette-Kennedys signature blend of minimalism and apple pie Americana has made her a classic New York fashion staple. But to Vevers, whose first job was at Calvin Klein when Bessette-Kennedy was a publicist for the brand in the 1990s, an era that felt like a true mirror of the Nora Ephron films that I find so emblematic of New York, the The tribute is personal. I worked with her. I saw her in the hallways.

The inky camisoles and understated tailoring that referenced her wardrobe were given a Gen Z twist. Many models wore a hoodie as a layer, a realistic touch for a generation that rarely leaves the house without one.

I think a lot about youth culture because I think we all learn and grow from what younger generations do, Vevers said. They have a truly inclusive mindset, whether it's race, body shape, or gender, and I love it.




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