Nope, it's not another diffusion line (although one of those does exist as well).
I headed down to Philadelphia last night to spend some time with Anthropolgie co-presidents Wendy Wurtzburger and Wendy McDevitt, the retailer's art and antiques buyer Keith Johnson, as well as designer extraordinaire Anna Sui. The occasion? A special screening of Man Shops Globe, Johnson's reality television show on the Sundance Channel. The series, in its second season, documents Johnson's travels around the world as he shops for the most incredible antiques and artwork for Anthropologie's stores. (He told me his most amazing find over the years was the interior of a music store in Germany. The company shipped the interior over the Atlantic and it's been in storage for about ten years. It's now being made into a room at Anthropologie's Fashion Island outpost. It'll be ready at some point in 2010.) This particular episode stars Anna Sui, who traveled with Keith to Syria.
Designing a line of limited edition duffels for Coach was an easy collaboration for Anna Sui to say yes to. "I remember my sister in law had an original Coach duffel and I just thought that was the coolest bag on earth," she told us at last night's launch event. "And I couldn't afford it at that point. So when this project came along I was so happy about it." Sui's directive from Coach creative director Reed Krakoff was pretty open ended: "Make [the Coach duffel] as 'Anna Sui' as possible" he told her.