Coach Hires Women’s Designer, Will Sell Clothes

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Photo: Simon Russell

Coach, the luxury leather goods provider that used to logo out all your friends in the last decade, had a weird 2012: They launched their Legacy Collection, a well-designed range of throwback goods for men and women that, as CEO Lew Frankfort explained to WWD, helped teach the company that “people don’t buy a collection, they buy an item.” Yet, same-store sales were in the negative this quarter for the first time in years.

In hopes of solving that problem, the brand has decided to beef up their non-handbag accessories starting this August, when they’re going to offer up even more shoes, scarves, and small leather goods. But, deep in the same WWD story, there’s actual news: Coach is also going to launch its own line of women’s wear, something the brand hasn’t done in the past, even as they plan to remain “accessories-centric.”

To design that collection — which we hope, unlike Cole Haan, includes items beyond leather coats and the occasional trouser — they’ve hired Sandra Hill, that excellently blonde woman you see above. Just before this position, she helped turn Bonobos into the basics-leaning online men’s powerhouse. Before that, she was creative design director of women’s wear at Paul Smith for sixteen years. Maybe that means the eventual Coach runway show will be full of all sorts of polka dots, stripes, and other zany takes on British ephemera? (Really, we’re just suggesting that so they go in an entirely opposite direction.)