NEW YORK — Coach Inc. is flexing its artistic muscle.

This story first appeared in the July 31, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The accessories brand is teaming with Rem Koolhaas’ architectural firm, Office for Metropolitan Architecture, to design its flagship shop-in-shop at Macy’s Herald Square and the Coach Omotesando flagship in Tokyo.

“We chose Rem and OMA for their ability to blend bold artistic vision, the rigorous needs of the retail environment and the history and heritage of Coach,” said Reed Krakoff, the company’s president and executive creative director. “We’re evolving the Coach brand and as part of that, we are seeking out the best talent worldwide. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with Rem and his team.”


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In retail projects, Koolhaas and his firm are best known for designing multiple stores for Prada, including the brand’s boutiques in Beverly Hills and New York.

For Coach, the Rotterdam-based architectural firm will fuse its clean and modern aesthetic with Coach’s colorful new Legacy collection, expanding the brand’s Macy’s shop-in-shop by more than 70 percent in size.

Set to open in early September, the 1,930-square-foot shop-in-shop will be the centerpiece of the department store’s renovated main floor.

“We wanted a system that could tell the story of Coach’s wide repertoire of products, while projecting the clarity and simplicity of its original stores,” explained Shohei Shigematsu, the OMA partner in charge of the Coach project.

“We created a system of modular display units that can be assembled to respond to the specific needs of each locale,” he said of the multifunctional units made of clear glass and acrylic. “In typical instances they are used as display; in others they come together as an interior fixture. In others still, they enclose spaces for programs or curation, and by sealing that enclosure, it can even become the facade.”

Coach declined to provide details on its Tokyo flagship, which is expected to open in the spring, but said the Macy’s project and the Tokyo project were designed by OMA’s New York office, led by Shigematsu with project architect Rami Abou-Khalil.