Coach, the American fashion house of modern luxury accessories, recently teamed up with Chen Man, one of China’s most celebrated fashion photographer, to shoot its Fall 2013 footwear collection. Along with this collaboration, Coach held a photo exhibition featuring Chen Man’s work at Shanghai’s Grand Gateway Plaza.
The exhibit also presented the brand’s latest exquisite shoes collection, while paying homage to the New York lifestyle. Chen Man and Jonathan Seliger, president and CEO of Coach China, shared their insights into the brand and the New York lifestyle. As we noted in a recent post, brands are finding tremendous success in China selling a lifestyle. Clearly, this is what Coach aims to do with this campaign. Teaming up with a celebrated local artist is also a smart move to endear the brand to its Chinese customers.
Inspired by an old adage “walking in someone else’s shoes”, Chen Man’s work depicted the life of a New York Coach woman through the latest collection she wears for various occasions. From the sexy date-worthy heels to the playfulness of Coach’s signature ballet flats, the collection perfectly combines high quality leather with superb craftsmanship. The ad campaign also features iconic New York settings or landmarks, signifying the legacy of Coach as a quintessential New York brand.
“The campaign is themed by a pair of shoes. Each girl wears different, which would result in different stories. The rich feeling reflects the spirit of Coach footwear – diverse and exciting,” said Chen Man. The artist chose an unconventional way to shoot the campaign – only through the shoes rather than the face, the audience can interpret the heroine’s personality and the story behind each image. “Chen Man’s work is modern and innovative, not only showing the fashion concept and sophistication of Coach footwear, but also depicting New York City’s imagination through the artist’s romantic lens,” said Seliger. The photo exhibition was also shown at Paragon in Singapore in September.
In recent years, Coach has grown fast and maintained a strong presence both online and offline in the Chinese market. With 126 locations across 47 cities, the company plans to open around 30 new locations in China during the fiscal year.
The brand’s dedication to its China’s Twitter-like Weibo account has drawn more than 800,000 followers. Despite the weak performance in North America due to rising competition from Michael Kors and Tory Burch, Coach had a solid 35 percent increase in Chinese sales in Q4 2013. The brand will continue to focus on the Chinese market as it estimates China sales will grow to $530 million in fiscal 2014 from $430 million in fiscal 2013.