It‘s arguably one of the most highly anticipated fashion partnerships in recent memory: Selena Gomez and Coach.

And all eyes have been on the star and her newly rebooted street style game since the collaboration was announced last year. The latest development takes things a major step further, putting Gomez front and center as the face of the brand, far and away her biggest campaign to date. Shot by Steven Meisel with creative direction by Fabien Baron, makeup by Pat McGrath, and hair by Guido Palau, Coach’s Fall advertising marks a sophisticated turning point for Gomez and her evolution from Disney star to Hollywood multi-hyphenate.
Lounging in the backseat of a vintage car in one the brand’s breezy prairie dresses and clutching an oversize Swagger bag, Gomez sells the cool-girl-next-door vibe of collections, but her bond with Coach is about more than an image. “Selena is a warm, charming person, so to spend time with her is a real pleasure,” said creative director Stuart Vevers at the brand’s New York headquarters. “A lot of the words I’ve used about Coach I found myself very seamlessly using about Selena. We talk about authenticity and ease, and I think that’s why we made the connection.”
Gomez’s willingness to keep it real with her fans in an age dominated by superficial celebrity has helped her become an icon of Generation Y with a social reach few can rival. “She’s found a way to communicate with the next generation. That, to me, was fascinating,” said Vevers. The campaign was made with an eye toward the ever-present smartphone and tablet screen to harness the combined power of Gomez’s record-breaking following (122 million and counting, on Instagram alone) and Coach’s global fan base. “At the end of the day, I know that’s how most people are going to see these images, so I’m very conscious of that,” said Vevers. “We did loads of fun stuff on the day. Selena took some cool videos where she shows what a shoot day is like for her—the things that she sees, the racks of clothes, messing around with Pat McGrath doing the makeup.”
New media may inform the campaign’s roll-out, but on set the atmosphere was quintessentially high fashion with the dream team of Meisel, Baron, McGrath, and Palau working their magic. It was Gomez’s first time working with this particular group of fashion legends, an experience she found extraordinary. “Going from attending the show during New York Fashion to actually shooting the campaign overlooking New York City was all pretty surreal,” shared Gomez via email. “Seeing Stuart’s vision for the season come full circle was very special.”
With the first of the campaign headed to magazines—and cell phones—the world is set to get its first taste of Gomez in her role as brand ambassador. “I’m excited for people to see a different side of Selena, but I’m excited to see what her fans will think too,” said Vevers with a smile. “They’re very vocal about their queen, and so far they’ve been pretty nice.” The legions of Selenators are sure to be pleased, but the ads also serve as a fitting summation of Coach’s current mood. Though Vevers is tight-lipped about the possibility of Gomez designing a capsule for Coach, the Internet is buzzing about the prospect. Either way, the images set the stage for a long and fruitful collaboration.

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