Michael B. Jordan Talks New Unisex Fashion Line for Coach

Courtesy Coach/Leo Volcy
Michael B. Jordan in a campaign image with a $795 denim jacket and $295 belt bag from the new line

The Coach x Michael B. Jordan collection, which Jordan told The Hollywood Reporter is "nostalgic, fresh, utilitarian and functional," debuts Tuesday.

Actor-producer Michael B. Jordan confessed his love of anime to The Hollywood Reporter back in June, saying that his fondness for Japanese animation dates to his childhood days in New Jersey, when he watched shows such as Dragon Ball Z.

Now, his passion has made the leap to fashion, as Jordan (also the global face of Coach menswear) introduces his first foray into design in the form of a collaborative unisex collection with Coach creative director Stuart Vevers. On the eve of the line’s debut, Jordan talked to The Hollywood Reporter about his stylish new project.

Bowing Tuesday, the 26-piece Coach x Michael B. Jordan collection ($95 to $2500) includes jackets, sweatshirts, T-shirts, utility pants, bags and footwear that take the 78-year-old label in an edgier streetwear direction. There will also be one limited-edition T-shirt launching Thursday at New York Comic Con. 

The pieces feature patterns and functional elements inspired by the Naruto Japanese anime and manga franchise, another Jordan favorite, starring a ninja who strives to be the best. Created in 1999, the franchise is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The Coach project is also a partnership with San Francisco-based anime distributor and entertainment company Viz Media.

"The collection is nostalgic, fresh, utilitarian and functional," Jordan tells THR. "I’m big on wearing layers and jackets."

Jordan has had his share of superhero and supervillain roles on the big screen, so he knows what it takes to outfit extraordinary men and women. That means sneaker-boots that know no bounds; backpacks and belt bags that leave hands free to multitask; a flight jacket with removable sleeves ("It also has multiple pockets and I like that you can get multiple uses out of it," says Jordan); a three-in-one parka that can be worn as a backpack; and cargo pants with tactical harness straps and toggle drawstring cuffs. There are also signature cloud and eye motifs, reinvented with a Coach logo graphic, that signify ninja power.

As for the bags, Jordan says, "I love backpacks, and nobody does bags better than Coach, so to be able to incorporate their classic leather bags and put my twist on it for this collection was a cool experience. I thought about what kind of bag I would use to travel and what things I would put inside a backpack. We tried to find a place for everything inside all of these pieces when coming up with the bag designs. Something that’s not cumbersome and doesn’t get in the way. It’s just kind of there, but not there.”"

The fictional ninja character Naruto Uzumani "begins his journey as an outsider and earns the respect of his community as he works with his friends to protect it," according to a brand statement. "The Naruto back story speaks closely to Jordan’s own narrative as an outlier, building bridges inside and outside of the Hollywood establishment, and echoes Coach’s commitment to community and courage."

Adds Jordan (who previously spoke to THR about his production company Outlier Society adopting a diversity inclusion rider), "As with all aspects of my work, this collection is about bringing fresh perspectives and unique voices to the forefront."

Of the anime aspect, he explains: "I wanted to use something personal to me and it felt really authentic to incorporate Naruto into the collection, because it played such a big part in my childhood. When we decided to use Naruto, we reached out to the [Viz Media] team and talked them through what we wanted to do and what characters we wanted to use. It was definitely a compromise, and I was surprised when they agreed and gave us Sasuke and Itachi and a bunch of other characters that I really fell in love with. They were very generous in what they allowed us to use, and I was surprised about the amount of characters that they gave us to play with." Jordan notes that he particularly likes "the Itachi black denim jacket with the embroidery on the back — it's timeless."

As part of the collaboration’s launch, Jordan teamed with Black Panther's director of photography Rachel Morrison to create a short campaign film set in Tokyo with a theme of "the power of connection," according to the brand.  

Coach x Michael B. Jordan is available at Coach stores, Coach.com and, temporarily, at the Coach pop-up shop at Beverly Center through Oct. 10.