Throughout his tenure at Coach, Stuart Vevers has drawn inspiration from visual artists, and often incorporated some of their most well-known works into his collections. He's done it with Keith Haring (Spring 2018), Kaffe Fassett (Fall 2019) and Richard Bernstein (Spring 2020). For Fall 2020, he referenced Jean-Michel Basquiat — not just by weaving his drawings into his ready-to-wear and accessories for the American heritage brand, but also by bringing some of his family members into the fold.
Jessica Kelly, Basquiat's niece, walked in the show. She and the rest of the models made their way across a warehouse-turned-runway — meant to mimic the feel of a city loft — while a live punk-rock/garage band, The Coathangers, covered Blondie. Members of Basquiat's family were also sitting in the audience.
The collection brought back iconic Coach motifs — like the Legacy stripe (on dresses, trousers and outerwear) and its "C" logo (on sneakers) — and reimagined them as part of a wardrobe that's part downtown-cool, part collegiate. That meant buttoned-up cardigans and layered knits tucked into leather skirts or underneath leather trenches (another nod to the brand's heritage), printed midi dresses belted at the waist with thick socks and colorful loafers (another styling trick seen this season at Kate Spade New York), fuzzy faux-fur overcoats with beanies and logo sneakers. Models also carried different riffs on the brand's classic wristlet, some featuring Basquiat artwork (like "Pez Dispenser").
The Basquiat connection and live entertainment wasn't the only surprise Vevers had in store for the crowd gathered all the way on the west side of Manhattan. As the last model turned the corner on the runway, Debbie Harry herself emerged to join the band that had been playing her hits throughout the show.
She sang as the cast of models came back around for their final walk and as Vevers took his final bow (before escorting Harry out).
See all the looks from Coach's Fall 2020 collection here: