Kirsten Dunst & Coach Team Up on a Playful Capsule Collection

The actress is taking her little-known side project Observed by Us mainstream.

Coach x Observed by Us capsule
Courtesy of Coach x Observed by Us
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On June 26, The Bear star Ayo Edibiri wore a ruffled white button-down shirt decorated with drawings of dinosaurs and horseshoes for a day of press. Fans may not have known it at the moment, but her cheerful blouse—which matched a pair of corduroy shorts bearing another dinosaur illustration—was part of a little-known art and fashion project by Kirsten Dunst and illustrator Jessica Herschko called Observed by Us. The side project of the actress and her longtime friend Herschko offers bespoke children’s clothing featuring Herschko’s doodles—think teeny bloomers and t-shirts with one-of-a-kind flair. Now, adults will be able to get in on the fun, with an American heritage twist.

Coach has teamed up with Observed by Us for a whimsical collection of ready-to-wear, bags, footwear, and accessories, all printed with twee illustrations by Herschko. In the Coach x Observed by Us collection, a denim miniskirt with heart-shaped buttons down the front is drawn over with multicolored sparkles and flowers; a cardigan has roses sprouting out of its front pocket, and a cream-colored leather cross-body bag comes with a cluster of mushrooms on the front. Each of the charming pieces in the collection evokes a childlike mood—a fitting detail of the collaboration, according to Dunst.

“My friend Jessica was making bespoke pieces with hand-drawn illustrations, and I wanted to create a children’s line with her,” the actress told W via e-mail. “I posted her work on my Instagram and someone from Coach approached us—it was a very fast process from there.”

Stuart Vevers, creative director of Coach New York, partnered with Dunst, Herschko, and their L.A.-based Observed by Us project for this special capsule, each piece of which “was crafted to tell a story, and to transport us,” according to the brand. Herschko’s drawings aligned naturally with Vevers’s youthful approach to the heritage brand. Since taking the creative lead in 2013, the designer’s runways have been been punctuated by dinosaurs, rocket ships, and heart and star motifs.

“We wanted to call back to some vintage Coach designs for this collaboration,” Dunst explained. The trio worked together on “color, design, and artwork placement. We also came up with stories that match each garment based on the illustrations. The main theme is that we’re floating in space and all these random things exist together.” For Dunst fans, it’s easy to picture many of the pieces fitting into her cinematic oeuvre (no doubt Lux Lisbon from The Virgin Suicides would approve of the sweet slip dress). But in real life, they are also perfectly suited for the summer festival season.

A look from the Coach x Observed by Us campaign.

Courtesy of Coach x Observed by Us

Much of the inspiration came directly from the mouths of babes: “My son came up with the word ‘Smoon’ which is when the sun and moon are out together at the same time,” Dunst who lives in Los Angeles with her husband Jesse Plemons and their two children said of one particular design. “So Jessica drew a ‘Smoon.’”