You talk about creating “American luxury” at Coach. What is that exactly? “Coach has a different point of view from a traditional European brand. American style and culture is a reference throughout the world, so what’s interesting to me is how a T-shirt or sneaker can be viewed as a luxury item. Because of that, American luxury has a certain ease to it, without any formality.”

Do you think luxury is still about exclu­sivity? “As much as price point is important, luxury is about so many things – an attitude, the fit, the immediacy of getting something you love.”

Stuart Vevers having fun turning Coach from bags to fashion brand

How important are the archives when it comes to designing your collections? “The brand has been around for 76 years so there are certain references that give real authority to what we do. I am particularly fascinated by the Bonnie Cashin period, the 1960s and ’70s. It shows me that to move a house forward you need a moment of creativity and to push boundaries to realise what’s next. Cashin made bold moves and created many elements we know and love about Coach today.”

What I love about fashion is that you can never predict what’s coming
Stuart Vevers

Fashion is very much about predicting the next big thing. How do you tap into that as a designer? “What I love about fashion is that you can never predict what’s coming. It reflects our time so you can never look too far ahead. Fashion today has got to reflect society. Individuality is a word I use a lot, now more than ever, and this is what will drive fashion. When I create a collection I also feel that it needs a story. I’m not interested in an idea of perfection, but more about creating an attitude.”

What are the biggest challenges for fashion designers today? “Staying true to your instincts is the hardest thing, especially in a large company where there are different pressures and opinions. Success boils down to sticking to one point of view. It’s vital right now that designers be bold and creative to push things forward. There’s a lot out there, so you really have to be special and different.”

What’s your secret to staying relevant? “You need a certain hunger. It’s hard to define, but I’m always looking for the next idea. One of the things I love is that fashion is constantly moving and changing, and it’s those things that drive me.”