At Coach’s SS23 show that saw a New York City space turn into a beach boardwalk, Lil Nas X made his catwalk debut. Wearing a leather vest and short ensemble, the appearance was swiftly followed by an Instagram post from the brand announcing him as their newest global ambassador.
The Grammy award winning singer-songwriter shot to fame after the release of his country rap song Old Town Road in 2018. From there, he has gone on to release multiple chart-topping hits and been listed on Forbes 30 under 30.
Aside from his musical success, it is his artistic style choices and wild music videos that caught peoples attention and threw him into worldwide fame. A proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, he has overcome his own struggles with his sexuality revealing in an interview with BBC Breakfast that he originally intended on taking it “to the grave”.
Now he is a pop-sensation who represents the open-minded and liberal nature of a generation, one most global institutions are struggling to connect with. In a recent interview with the Business of Fashion, Coach CEO Todd Kahn said the company wanted to move away from “accessible luxury”, a category they have long sat in, heading instead for “expressive luxury”. Alongside creative director Stuart Vevers, the pair have tried to revolutionize Coach into a modern brand with Gen-Z focused marketing and offerings.
Their newest campaign titled, “Courage to Be Real” featured Lil Nas X travelling through doors that act as pivotal time frames in his journey to success. Talking on the campaign, Lil Nas said, “my whole career has been about breaking down doors, and this campaign represents everything I’ve overcome so far”. Shot by Petra Collins, the mastermind behind Olivia Rodrigo’s Good 4 U music video, the imagery is pure Gen-Z bliss, aesthetically and sentimentally.
Following in the footsteps of stars like Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez, Coach’s bold but cleverly aligned choice signals a shift in their global communications and could be the beginning of a very special union for both brand and ambassador.