No collaboration has made us equally confused and excited quite like the forthcoming pair-up between Coach and Rodarte: The news broke earlier this year with sparse details beyond the fact that it was indeed happening, and that we could expect it sometime this spring. Well, 'tis the season — and we got your first look at his ridiculously fashionable pairing. Spoiler alert: It's as good, if not better, than anything we could've ever dreamed.
While it was originally reported that the collection would only contain 15 pieces, the final tally is closer to 40, spanning various categories of ready-to-wear — dresses! moto jackets! knits! — as well as accessories. The collaboration is built around two signatures for each brand: Coach's legacy in leather manufacturing and Rodarte's penchant for fantastic embellishment. Thus. the former's signature saddle bags and wristlets are adorned with floral appliqués; some 1970s Coach advertisements that read "This Is A Coach Bag" are reimagined on sweatshirts and tees through a Magritte-esque lens by the Mulleavy sisters.
"We were looking through the archives with Stuart [Vevers] and we loved the vintage campaigns and bags from the 70s; they connected to our design spirit and unique perspective," the Rodarte designers told Refinery29 of the resurfaced ads. Meanwhile, the Coach designer said this process "pushed [his] way of thinking" about the brand: "When [the Mulleavy sisters] suggested that we take the vintage 1970’s Coach ads and print them on t-shirts, it really made me think about how all the different phases of a bag's life — from design to advertisement — form the design of that bag in the first place," he said.
"I’ve been a long admirer of Kate and Laura’s work," Vevers explained to us about working with the California-based designers. "I've always enjoyed collaboration and exchanging ideas with other designers. It's something that can be quite rare in the fashion industry. As someone still relatively new to the world of American fashion, I wanted to collaborate with an American designer to expand my point of view. I think Kate and Laura have a very unique approach to fashion that nevertheless embodies the American creative spirit."
Now, this collaboration will be a little pricier than your average Coach haul: The "This Is A Coach Bag" totes start at $650 (£520), while the embellished leather bags range from $295 (£235)to $1,900 (£1,520). It's expected to go online on April 12 and arrive in stores on the 14th. That gives us two weeks to check all of our pockets and handbags for spare change in order to scoop up this collaboration before it totally sells out (because we imagine many a fashion star will be saving up for this one). But it might even inspire new, more elaborate collections in-house for Coach, according to Vevers: "I'm now open to introducing a more elegant approach to the way I've been dressing the Coach girl over the past three years; Rodarte inspired me to think about how I can do this in a truly American crafted way."