The Coach brand is not exactly hip. Unless it stands for Coco Chanel, a double “c” logo is more likely to garner a WTH than a jealous sidelong glance. It’s hard to maintain luxury status when your name loses relevance as soon as you cross the ocean.
Coach is, however, doing something more relevant than most brands at the moment. Not only are they giving out the goods to style bloggers (a.k.a. relatively-free advertising and product endorsement), but they're also forming full on partnerships. Up from their four blogger-turned-designer collabs released this summer, the 2010 holiday campaign features ten style setters who literally might be the girl next door, particularly if you live in Brooklyn.
All of the buzz (mostly it was the promise of sequins) had me heading to the Coach holiday campaign launch party in Soho last week to see what was up. It was crowded as fuck; a plus for the event planners, but a minus for would be shoppers looking to take advantage of the night’s 25% off promotion. But it didn’t matter. There were personal flipbooks to be made (better than what you’re imagining), complementary wine to be sipped, and the pleasure of nibbling on tiny cheesecakes. It was festive, yes, with plenty of sequins to go around.
If attainable luxury is the Coach brand’s goal, then surely they’ve met it. The new styling and brand direction introduced through the “Poppy” line and “Coach loves Poppy” campaigns suddenly has the fashionable set (okay, me) considering Coach in a new light. Bobbing between the purple tartan wristlets and glittering personalities of Friday's fete, there was a distinct moment of wanting to be a part of the Coach brand–to be the Coach girl. And with ten blogger-turned-role-models pushing (mostly) affordable bags (a $600 sequined backpack comes to mind as an exception), there is the distinct possibility of doing so.
This is not something that anyone would have admitted five (or even two?) years ago. They must be doing something right.