Directed by Noah Baumbach; Photographed by Stephen Shore; Styled by Sara Moonves.
For fall 2020, Coach teamed up with the estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat on a series of limited-edition pieces, such as a tan patent leather coat scrawled with line drawings and words like “potato.” While certainly not the flashiest look the brand sent out at its New York Fashion Week show on Tuesday afternoon, it was by far the most attention-grabbing; to the crowd’s surprise and immediate delight, the model wearing it was none other than Blondie’s Debbie Harry.
To get across the collection’s vibe, which the brand described as “pop heritage,” Coach’s creative director, Stuart Vevers, enlisted the garage-punk band the Coathangers to set up shop on the runway and serve up the soundtrack. Tellingly, they opened with a cover of Blondie’s “One Way or Another,” but eventually Coach took its nods to the main inspiration—“a downtown New York art scene, circa 1981”—up a notch. As the regular runway portion of the show came to a close, Harry emerged onto the runway, waving and grinning before stepping up to the mic.
Once again, the Coathangers played a song by Blondie. But this time, the real deal took charge of the vocals, performing “Dreaming” as models filed out for the show’s finale. Harry stuck around just long enough for showgoers to get a good Instagram Story before making her exit, too, walking off the runway hand in hand with Vevers.
Harry has been a style icon for decades, but it’s only relatively recently that the 74-year-old singer came to accept as much. “When Blondie burst onto the scene in the mid-'70s, we couldn’t imagine that designers would be interested in us,” Harry wrote in an essay for W in 2011. “We had no access to that world. Most of our fashion choices—ripped-up fishnets and pinned-together things—were economical, what we could afford.”
“I loved fashion magazines back when I was starting out, but it was painful at times because I couldn’t get any of that stuff,” Harry continued. Fast-forward to the present, and she’s both the cover stars of those magazines and the inspiration behind “that stuff.”