For years, Alexander Wang has ruled over the New York City fashion scene as one of the coolest designers in the game, thanks in no small part to his now-legendary after-parties. But in just a few short seasons, Stuart Vevers has elevated Coach from a staid mall brand to one of the buzziest labels on the calendar.
It takes a lot to get the fashion crowd all the way to the West Side, especially on a weeknight — especially when temperatures are in the 30s — but on Thursday night, the industry made the trek for Coach. The brand took over Pier 94 (the usual venue for Wang's annual ragers) in New York for a blow-out fashion show and a party to celebrate its 75th anniversary. Walking onto the dimly lit set felt like leaving the city behind completely; a few vintage cars were scattered through the make-shift parking lot, complete with fading street lamps and a dark, sketchy motel in the background. It all felt very "Stranger Things."
That vibe continued as the models took the runway: They wore a mix of the fall 2017 menswear collection and the pre-fall 2017 womenwear collection, with the common thread of late '70s/early '80s-era inspiration throughout. By now, Vevers has established himself as a master of print mixing, combining signature prairie florals with classic plaids and brightly trimmed leopard print. The NASA logo popped up on everything from bags to sweatshirts, which are sure to become the next street style must-haves. Just in case you weren't already convinced that Coach's kids are the coolest on the block, maybe the brand's model lineup will help: Lexi Boling, Binx Walton, Winnie Harlow, Luka Sabbat, Adwoa Aboah and Gabriel-Kane Day Lewis all hit the runway.
Then, after the runway dimmed, the Young People's Chorus of New York City took the stage as the neon signs at the back of the set lit up one-by-one. They started singing "Empire State of Mind," models filed out for the finale, fake snow began to fall from the ceiling and, like the Grinch, I felt my heart grow three sizes. I got choked up! At a fashion show! And I wasn't the only one: The crowd gave Vevers a well-deserved, enthusiastic round of applause when he took his final bow.
That was just the beginning: It turns out that, Wang-style, the back of the set was actually the scene for the party that was likely all over your Instagram feed. Bars were set up in the makeshift motels; Mark Ronson deejayed from the porch. If you're wondering who was there, the question you should really be asking is who wasn't there: Drew Barrymore, Diplo, Rowan Blanchard, Hari Nef, Cory Kennedy and Zoe Kravitz were just a few of the A-listers getting down — not to mention what felt like the entirety of the New York fashion industry.
It's safe to say that, after this party, Coach has cemented its status as a can't-miss event on the New York circuit. Making it 75 years is just the beginning.
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