Stuart Vevers made a confident debut with the first-ever ready-to-wear presentation for the Coach Fall 2014 collection. When Vevers, who previously helmed the LVMH-owned Loewe label, was tapped to replace Reed Krakoff last year, insiders wondered about the need for a clothing line from Coach. Could Vevers make it relevant?

Vevers featured American classics like the jean jacket and firemen’s coats fashionable tweaks, putting a removable shearling collar on the former and cutting the latter in rugged leather with suede accents and heavy-duty brass closures. Outerwear was the star of the show—the oversize red-and-black houndstooth pieces in particular—but Vevers has a sense of humor that should play well to the young customers he needs to be wooing. The Apollo sweater was a dead ringer for the pullover little Danny Torrance wore in The Shining. Quirky beauties like Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek apparently resonated with him, as did the work of Joel Sternfeld. A late 1970s suburban scene from Sternfeld’s book of photographs American Prospects formed the show’s backdrop.

On the accessories front, in contrast, it was the young women Vevers encounters on the streets of his adopted hometown of New York City that gave him his starting point. Shearling-lined, rubber-soled wedge boots and pebbled-leather cross-body bags drove home his message about function and utility.