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Coach Is Coming For Your Closet With Ready-to-Wear Launch

A mock up of Coach's new windows, via WWD
A mock up of Coach's new windows, via WWD

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Heritage accessories brand Coach already rules a hefty chunk of the American mid-range handbag market, but now they're coming after the rest of your closet.

Creative Director Reed Krakoff told WWD that the brand is undergoing an evolution from accessories maker to lifestyle brand, in the style of Tory Burch and Michael Kors. Shoes are coming first, with ready-to-wear in hot pursuit.

WWD points out that this is quite a dramatic shift for Coach, who insisted for years the company would not do women's apparel. Their previous apparel runs have been limited, such as the outerwear items launched along with their Legacy collection last summer, and a handful of men's items (currently available on the Coach website). But that was then.

Here's what Krakoff has to say about the brand's new direction: "As opposed to being an accessories brand, we're much more inclined to see the brand as telling the story of the total lifestyle, meaning we need to have a way to see Coach in a different way," he told WWD.

Expect to see that new focus in Coach stores starting August, when fall collection displays will incorporate all categories, from apparel and footwear to eyewear and handbags.
· Coach's New Strategy: A Lifestyle Approach [WWD]
· Stripes Ahoy! Coach and Saint James Collaborate on Capsule [Racked]