‘Saltburn’ on the Upper East Side

The kids — and a PETA protester — stormed the James B. Duke mansion on the Upper East Side on Monday afternoon, where Coach held its fall 2024 runway.

Midway through the show, which conjured “Saltburn” with its irreverent chopped-up uptown party dresses and “worn loved” leather jackets with no pants looks, a protester burst through a side door with a sign that read “Let Cows Live.”

It’s the second season in a row that a protester has breached the perimeter of a Coach show. But you know what? With the kind of youthful rebelliousness Coach plays up on its runways, it felt on-brand.

Besides, Coach is a Wall Street darling right now, with newfound relevance among younger consumers that propelled the company to achieve a 5 percent year-over-year net revenue increase, as reported in Tapestry’s first-quarter results.

“There’s a lot of good momentum at Coach right now which, after being here 10 years, is nice to see,” Stuart Vevers said during a preview.

The designer has been keeping his runway messaging concise, last season pushing bias-cut leather dresses with a grunge bent, and this season proposing deconstructed ballgowns as party tops over repurposed jeans, or chopped off taffeta and crinoline skirts worn with hoodies or chunky novelty sweaters. They looked great.

“We’re very much about self expression, disrupting some of those luxury codes, being a little ironic with them, playing with them. But also taking some of those ladylike references and making them feel more urgent, more feminist more everyday,” he said.

So go ahead and chop up your grandmother’s ballgown, why not?

Coach Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection at New York Fashion Week

Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

Outerwear is Coach’s bread-and-butter, of course, and this season, it was your mother’s quilted leather jacket that had the preciousness knocked out of it. Washed and tumbled aviator, suede fringe and biker jackets also had the “love worn” effect, tapping into the already going-strong craze for vintage leather everything.

Although still disheveled, the Coach menswear was way more sophisticated this season with long tuxedo jackets; a new take on eveningwear; trenchcoats in different materials, and a new take on tweed jackets — all of which fit perfectly into the show location.

Vevers also offered more tailoring this season, with some sporting crest motifs. “It’s like inviting people to be part of a club, but a really inclusive club that welcomes all,” he said.

Coach introduced a new bag, “The Empire,” a handsome belted style that’s a fresh silhouette for the leather goods house. They were decorated for the runway with all sorts of New York charms and tchotchkes like pretzels, apples and statuettes of Liberty.

“I realized when I was talking through the boards that this is the first time there’s no archival references, it’s interesting,” Vevers said. He truly has written his own chapter in the 81-year-old house’s heritage. Pants off to that.

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