Corporate behemoth COACH is reminding denizens off the Morgan L stop—that edgy trendsetter cohort so skeptical of branding, yet so brand-conscious—that life for the company began out of a little loft in the city, a true Mom & Pop operation. Bushwickians being eager for the soulful, and this being 2015 Brooklyn, nothing says authentic more than hand-painted. Anything hand-painted. “You could probably hand-paint Mein Kampf on a derelict building and people would be in awe of the typography; they really just sop it up,” says street artist LTrainFamous, the latest artist to hand-paint custom COACH bags tailored toward Bushwickians, who started out lawlessly tagging his name in unexpected places but has since been courted by The Man (hence his consulting jobs for Ed Hardy and Affliction.
Catherine Calfskin, a spokesperson for COACH, had this to say: “We’re already big with the natives of Bushwick, who’ve embraced us for years now; forget that most buy theirs in Chinatown, it’s the thought that counts. These millennial consumers, though, it’s this stingy market we’ve got to penetrate. For these cool-kid types, let’s call them”—she started to say the H word but cut herself off—“we’ve adopted a new strategy that involves street-arting and small-batching things to the max.” These limited-run, bespoke, sustainably sourced items will, contrary to other COACH lines, be manufactured right here in the good ole US of A, and will carry an appropriately premium price tag. The company’s also mulling opening an art gallery in Bushwick, but as of now it’s mostly hearsay.
One thing COACH hasn’t opened here is a store. Though Bushwickians are pissed at having to travel far to acquire the product—of its 1,014 freestanding locations worldwide, approximately zero are in Brooklyn—they’ve turned up in impressive numbers. “We’ve added more 11206, 11207, 11237 zip-coded customers to our database since we painted that sign than we have in the previous decade,” said Calfskin. That being said, can a Bushwick flagship store be far behind?
Written by jaytoles