Festival fashion is a big business, and one that most brands — especially those targeted to younger consumers — have started to pay attention to in a significant way.
There are capsule collections designed around Coachella and the like, brand “activations” continuously saturate the actual events, and of course, placement of a piece of clothing, shoe or accessory on a musician has become the ultimate fashion credit.
Coach is a festival fashion brand, at least not technically. But in his obsession with all things Americana, creative director Stuart Vevers has inadvertently tapped into its world, and in no season was it more apparent than for spring ’19, which showed on Tuesday at New York Fashion Week.
Set in a warehouse at Pier 94 in Manhattan, the runway — comprised of dust — had a giant metal structure in the middle of it that resembled dinosaur bones. It was something one might see at Burning Man, an art installation set in the desert. And though the clothing ran more Coachella than Mad Max, the shoes were perfect for desert living.
Many of the styles had a sneaker boot silhouette, with an upper just higher than a high top and a sneaker-like sole that made the shoe more than just a military desert boot. There were also sporty suede booties decked out with fringe, and basic sneakers for guys, low tops done in black and a few prints.
The sneaker boot style is a known favorite for “Burners,” attendees of Burning Man, due to the fact that they are relatively lightweight but still offer protection from the dust with a sturdy sole and more impenetrable upper.
It’s unclear if Vevers was actually inspired by this very American festival, but given the ongoing partnership with Selena Gomez (who sat front row at the show in a roped-off section), Coach has put itself squarely in the music game. And with its Coachella frocks and Burning Man shoes, the brand will be ready for the next festival season.