Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New York State of Dress; Trends American Politics May Have Lost Its Cool but US Brands Are Winning on Both Sides of the Atlantic, Says Karen Dacre

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New York State of Dress; Trends American Politics May Have Lost Its Cool but US Brands Are Winning on Both Sides of the Atlantic, Says Karen Dacre

Article excerpt

Byline: says Karen Dacre

WITH Donald Trump and his permatanned troops heading for the White House, the US looks set to embark on a new age of bad taste. But it's not over yet. Keen to remind the world that its first city of style remains a market leader for exporting cool, New York's biggest brands descend on the capital this week intent on flying the flag for their homeland.

Leading the charge is Coach, which lands on Regent Street on Thursday -- Thanksgiving -- with a flagship store for which, it hopes, fashion fans will be very grateful. Intent on exporting a fresh slice of the Big Apple to London soil, Coach brings with it 445 square meters of retail space within which it will house its own take on New York luxury. Its concrete floors are reminiscent of the pavements of that city and a glassblock wall references the iconic Manhattan skyline. There is a vast collection of ready-to-wear and accessories -- an offering which brings with it Coach's take on American culture, which is winning new fans for the house on both sides of the Atlantic.

Among the highlights is a craftsmanship bar and a made-toorder area at which customers are invited to personalise pieces from the brand's offering, including its soonto-be iconic varsity jackets -- a favourite with Kate Moss.

Coach's version of American style, much like Burberry's take on Britain's, is one that's already going down well UK-side -- and little wonder: as recent voting habits might suggest, Londoners and New Yorkers have more in common than taste in handbags. For creative director Stuart Vevers, a Yorkshireman, Coach, with all its James Dean cool and Patti Smith rebellion, makes as much sense here in London as it does in the US.

"Although it's a New York brand and is very much inspired by the city, the ease and confident urban attitude of the Coach girl is international," he says. "You can access that cool in London, Shanghai or Tokyo -- it's about strength of character and individuality."

But there's more to this American love-in than that. While London has long pioneered itself as a hub for cutting-edge design, its New York cousin has clung tightly to its own USP: the idea that its brands and designers are commercial geniuses who understand the wants of the Continued on Page 34 Continued from Page 33 contemporary fashion consumer like no one else. …

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