London—In celebration of its 70th anniversary this year, Coach opened its first European flagship store on New Bond Street on Wednesday with a party meant to paint London town red.
But actually the color everyone was talking about was orange, as in the orange Lavin dress worn by actress Gwyenth Paltrow who got all the attention from the British tabloids. A dinner honoring Paltrow, who is the “face and body of Coach” in its latest ad campaign, drew celebrities such as Thandie Newton, Mario Testino and even a rare appearance by Paltrow’s husband, Chris Martin, front man for Coldplay.
Coach’s 6,900 square foot store features the brand’s complete collection including handbags and small leathergoods, footwear, sunwear, jewelry, watches, outerwear and frangrance in an environment described as “a distinctive New York City attitude.”
Throughout the two-level flagship is a mix of custom-designed cabinetry with vintage and bespoke freestanding fixtures. Flooring materials include end-cut oak with Carerra marble accents. A curved marble staircase is the centerpiece for the store which has a fully restored bronze storefront in the historic building.
To commemorate the opening Coach created the “41 Collection” named for the store’s location at No. 41 and 1941, the year Coach began. The collection features three exclusive styles available at the store, each paying homage to a London neighborhood.
In addition to the “41 Collection”, the store will feature many of the brand’s iconic collections, including Madison, Chelsea and Hamptons, each inspired by the brand’s NY roots. For the first time and exclusively at the New Bond Street location, Coach will also be curating an exhibit of archival product from the brand’s vast archives.
“We are especially excited about the opening of this important London location, our first European flagship, and centrepiece of our UK distribution strategy,” said Ian Bickley, president of Coach International.
The London opening also is the kickoff for the New York-themed advertising campaign featuring Paltrow, which was photographed by Peter Lindberg.