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Shoppers Are Taking to Coach's Cool Americana

Coach's fall 2016 runway show. Photo: Fernando Leon/Getty Images
Coach's fall 2016 runway show. Photo: Fernando Leon/Getty Images

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The many changes Coach has made to its branding, marketing, and product since the fall of 2013 have started to draw customers back into its stores. On Tuesday, the brand announced that its sales hit $954 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2016, up from $929 million the year before. Coach still hasn't climbed back to the $1.10 billion in revenue it brought in a year before that, during the third quarter of fiscal 2014, but it now seems to be on the right track.

To be fair, Coach CEO Victor Luis has been saying throughout this brand overhaul that sales were going to get worse before they were going to get better. Customers needed time to fully absorb all the changes Coach made. Those included hiring Stuart Vevers as creative director in June 2013, renovating its store fleet, starting to show at New York Fashion Week, launching a ready-to-wear line called Coach 1941, bringing on Steven Meisel to shoot faces like Chloë Grace Moretz and Kid Cudi for its ad campaigns, and ditching logo-covered bags in favor of more luxe-looking leather models. As an indication of how far Coach has moved away from being that faded mall brand, logo now makes up just 5 percent of its offerings at retail.

These days, Coach's aesthetic is crystal clear. At the center of Vevers's ready-to-wear collections are little leather skirts and immensely covetable leather jackets, often dressed up in multiple tones and patchwork detailing.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2016, Coach sales — we're just talking about the brand here, not the company overall, which includes Stuart Weitzman — totaled $943 million, versus $1.04 billion the year prior. In the second quarter, that was a comparison of $1.18 billion in 2016 against $1.22 billion in 2015.

What we're saying is: keep up the work, y'all.