Shanghai just had a series of memorable nights, courtesy of American company Coach. Earlier this month, the brand flew from New York to China’s biggest city for its very first fashion show in the country, bringing with them the ways of the Big Apple while seamlessly sewing that in with the local urban scene. The show, aptly named “Coach Lights Up in Shanghai”, is also a celebration of a milestone for the brand: Coach has set up shop in China 15 years ago now.
The brand’s Pre-Fall 2019 runway show in the city’s West Bund Art Center was preceded by a rooftop party hosted by no other than Creative Director Stuart Vevers. It overlooked the Shanghai skyline, which had its own charm but had as much light as that of New York. The biggest hit of the night was the building lighting up with an animation that is true to the theme Coach is shooting for. The party was a fitting introduction to the show the next day
During the runway show, Coach brought the edgy Americana onstage while with a backdrop that brought to mind a version of New York that we knew almost 50 years ago, complete with neon lights and marquee signs. A disco ball even appeared later in on the show, an indicator of the brand really enjoying playing around with the 1970s. The vibrant replica of the city is of course just a complementary touch to the collection itself, which had Vevers bring the staple jackets and dresses that are distinctly Coach. Other pieces that also took the center stage are made possible through the artists the brand collaborated with to bring a new touch to the polished pieces, incorporating graffitis and ink drawings among others. The brand’s resident dinosaur, Rexy, was prominent in the show and can be spotted on different forms, courtesy of distinguished graphic artist Guang Yu, multi-media artist and illustrator Zhu Jingyi, sculptor Sui Jianguo, and music collective YETI OUT. Twins Arthur and Thomas Bray of YETI OUT also provided the music besides the pieces they helped reinterpret.
The after party was not any less glamorous, as celebrities from all parts of the world flocked to the venue to celebrate the successful show. It also had a very New York feel, as the event was filled with food carts that distributed street favorites. Some of the attendees were the very same icons spotted on the runway show’s audience, including brand ambassadors Timmy Xu and Kiko Mizuhara who were not ones to miss the event. The touted first Chinese supermodel Liu Wen, Taiwanese model Hannah Quinlivan and social media-famous Ami and Aya Suzuki also lit the already neon-filled after party. Actress and former collaborator Chloë Moretz was accompanied by other icons such as fashion blogger Carmen Hamilton and models Roberta Pecoraro, Adesuwa Aighewi, Dilone and Lexi Boling. K-pop artists Rosé and Jisoo of Blackpink were also around to party.
We’ve seen different brands try to penetrate the Chinese market, especially since its luxury consumers are expected to grow significantly in the coming years and the country is projected to become the world’s biggest fashion market. But Stuart Vevers has long started knowing and familiarizing with the Chinese landscape, visiting Shanghai at least ten times in the last ten years. In an interview with Vogue, Vevers spoke of the need for a cultural exchange in doing business in Asia and in preparation of the show, “It’s about putting the efforts in. It’s about coming here and meeting people and understanding what’s happening. Beyond the presentation of the show, it’s about spending time here in the run-up and researching and thinking about what would be relevant here. You learn.”
— lilogurl (@lilogurl88) December 9, 2018
Image credits: Kevin Tachman, Coach