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Coach SS24 womenswear collection NYFW
Courtesy of Coach

A runway crasher in a skin suit kicked off NYFW

Crashers stormed the Coach catwalk in protest of its use of leather

Some of the world’s biggest brands have at some point seen runway crashers storm their shows: who can forget the iconic moment Gisele Bündchen didn’t skip a beat as she strutted between Peta protestors brandishing ‘Gisele Fur Scum’ at Victoria’s Secret, the time Gigi Hadid strong-armed a French comedian out of her way at Chanel, or when a literal cat sauntered down the catwalk and stole the show at Istanbul Fashion Week. 

Now, it’s the turn of Coach, which last night kicked off New York Fashion Week’s SS24 shows with a special celebration of Stuart Vevers’ ten-year anniversary at the house. Around halfway through the presentation – which had J.Lo sitting next to Anna Wintour on the front row – a person in a suit that made it look like she had been skinned stormed around the runway, closely followed by someone else carrying a sign reading ‘Coach Leather Kills’.

With both imposters acting on behalf of Peta, the organisation quickly released a statement outlining the dramatic action taken on the catwalk. “Today’s conscientious consumers know that the future of fashion lies in innovative vegan materials, not in cows’ sliced-off skin,” Peta’s executive vice president Tracy Reiman wrote. “Peta is shaking up Coach’s catwalk to drive home the message that leather belongs in the annals of history, not in designers’ current collections.” 

Over on social media, conversation turned to the protestors' looks, with stellar stylist and Vogue contributor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson commenting “Why is she serving” under an Instagram video posted by The Cut, and  TBH that muscle-y, sinewy skin suit is kind of a Jean Paul Gaultier-esque slay. Elsewhere, another Instagram user pointed out that “leather is a byproduct of the meat industry, Coach or any other company doesn’t kill these cows, they are simply taking a byproduct of the meat industry that would be discarded otherwise.”

Though the brand likely isn’t happy about the runway intrusion, it should be pretty pleased with the collection it served up. An ode to Vevers’ adopted city of New York, the offering managed to surmise the past decade while also looking forward. Standouts included boxy, oversized tailored suits, slinky mini and midi slips crafted from upcycled leather, and a swathe of distressed denim styles including big blazers and dungarees. With Vevers’ explaining he intended to dress his “NY archetypes”, best of all was seeing this meant people with more diverse bodies, with a handful of larger models walking the show. 

Coach has not yet released a statement in regards to the runway intrusion, but it’s notable that the two protestors were not dragged off the catwalk by security like they have been at most other fashion shows. Later, at a dinner thrown to celebrate Vevers’ ten-year reign at the house, the designer told Vogue he “respects all points of view”. Dazed has reached out to Coach for a statement and will update this article accordingly. 

Revisit our list of the most memorable catwalk crashers here