New Balance Fetes Gauff, Ralph Draws the Stars, Prabal’s Weather Plan

COCO KNOWS: Tennis fans have watched the newly minted U.S. Open women’s singles champion Coco Gauff rise up through the ranks of professional tennis, but many consumers may still be saying, “Coco who?”

New Balance staffers need no introduction, since the Boston-based athletic company signed an endorsement deal with the 19-year-old in 2018. Although her given name is “Cori,” like her father Corey’s, the Florida resident prefers to be called Coco. After securing Saturday’s win, Gauff has received well wishes from President Joe Biden, as well as two of his predecessors, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Having earned $3 million in prize money with her three-set victory over Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, Gauff had her own post-match thanks to dole out. Accepting the trophy and that check in a New Balance cropped tank and tennis skirt, Gauff praised Billie Jean King for “fighting” for equal pay at the World Tennis Association’s U.S. Open 50 years ago. The champ also thanked Venus and Serena Williams. Gauff showed off her style with mismatched nail polish in pale pink and yellow, and a tank in one of Pantone’s leading New York Fashion Week spring 2024 colors — Rooibos Tea. She later posted an Instagram photo of herself wearing hot pink pajamas holding the trophy with “Barbie dreams.”  

Cashing in on the whirlwind of publicity, New Balance is now selling a T-shirt imprinted on the front with “Call Me Coco Champion.” The logo shirt is being sold for $30 on the athletic brand’s e-commerce site. New Balance first developed the original Call Me Coco shirt and campaign in 2019, after she defeated Venus Williams. It was in response to some of the media coverage at that time referring to her as “Cori,” a New Balance spokeswoman said Sunday. Last summer New Balance rolled out the shirt again for its brand ambassador in time for the U.S. Open.

Gauff is “very involved” with New Balance’s lifestyle range, sharing her views of game-worthy style and off-court fashion, the company spokeswoman said. She recently previewed the fall-winter Aimé Leon Dore capsule collection and is the face for New Balance and Ganni’s latest collaboration. Gauff is the only active female pro with a signature shoe, having debuted the Coco CG1 shoe last year with New Balance.

The sixth-ranked women’s pro also has a hand in deciding with New Balance’s design team about which colors to wear for major tournaments. Earlier this year she consulted with her nine-year-old brother Cameron about which colors to infuse into the latest version of her signature shoe. The idea reportedly sprang from New Balance executives giving the elementary schooler a “How to Make a Sneaker” book. (She incorporated one of his choices — neon greens — into wrist bands for last weekend’s showdown). New Balance celebrated the launch of the Coco CG1 “City Brights” shoe with a pop-up event in its Flatiron store that features such touches as her favorite video games and complimentary nail art. — ROSEMARY FEITELBERG

WHO WASN’T THERE?: The Brooklyn Navy Yard was the place to be Friday evening, as Ralph Lauren made his return to New York Fashion Week for the first time since before the pandemic. Despite the rain, heat and intimidation the Navy Yard provides, celebrity guests came out in droves: there was Jennifer Lopez, who was front and center at Ralph’s California show last year, while Amanda Seyfried, Julianne Moore, Keri Russell, Mindy Kaling, Gabrielle Union, Jonathan Bailey, Emma Roberts, Diane Keaton, Ariana DeBose, Cara Delevingne, Charles Melton, James Marsden, Jonathan Bailey, Laura Dern, Leo Woodall, Madison Bailey, Matthew Rhys, Meghann Fahy, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, Pom Klementieff, Rachel Brosnahan, Robin Wright, Sheryl Crow and Sofia Richie Grainge were just some of the other big names that showed up in their Ralph best for the evening’s show. 

Laura Dern, Sheryl Crow and Gabrielle Union at the Ralph Lauren Spring 2024 Ready To Wear Fashion Show at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on September 8, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York.

Laura Dern, Sheryl Crow and Gabrielle Union at the Ralph Lauren spring 2024 fashion show at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Friday.

Gilbert Flores for WWD

Richie Grainge was the first to arrive for the night, posing solo for the cameras while her new husband Elliot Grainge patiently waited for her. Richie Grainge dangled her handbag for a video camera. “Get a little bag action!” she said.  

Kaling mixed it up for the occasion, abandoning her preferred colorful outfits for Ralph. 

“Wearing black and all leather was a little bit out of my comfort zone — I usually do color and bling and things like that,” she said of her fitted leather suit. “My stylist Molly Dickson is always trying to push me out of my comfort zone. And when she sent this outfit she was like ‘I think you need to wear this.’ I don’t usually wear suiting!”

Mindy Kaling at the Ralph Lauren Spring 2024 Ready To Wear Fashion Show at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on September 8, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York.

Mindy Kaling at the Ralph Lauren spring 2024 fashion show.

Gilbert Flores for WWD

Kaling is looking forward to getting to wear more outerwear this fall — should the temps ever permit.

“I am loving a statement coat, because I’m lazy, so for me the thing is to wear something very basic underneath and then throw on a coat so that it looks like I am fabulous, but I am really just in a T-shirt and jeans and a pair of New Balances,” she said of her fall wardrobe. “I don’t think it’s ever going to be cold enough to wear [a coat] though.”

Russell and Rhys posed together initially before separating so photographers could get solo shots of each. 

Keri Russell at the Ralph Lauren Spring 2024 Ready To Wear Fashion Show at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on September 8, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York.

Keri Russell at the Ralph Lauren fashion show.

Gilbert Flores for WWD

“Watch and learn! This is my moment!” Rhys teased her. 

“I’m just going to skedaddle,” she replied, moving away from the flashing cameras. 

Keaton hammed it up with reporters while J.Lo, ever the pro, fluffed her hair as she skated past shouts from the press, always leaving them wanting more. — LEIGH NORDSTROM

STAYING DRY: The rain plan for Prabal Gurung’s fully outdoor show at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park, located at the tip of Roosevelt Island? On with the show.

Clear umbrellas were handed out to guests upon arrival, and production staff wiped down the light rain falling onto benches where guests including Maddie Ziegler, Awkwafina and Lori Harvey waited for the runway to get started. Venus Williams, in a sequined look, took cover underneath the trees flanking the triangular green space, which was bisected by a shiny gold runway.

Awkwafina, Kiersey Clemons and Maddie Ziegler

Awkwafina, Kiersey Clemons and Maddie Ziegler.

Nina Westervelt/WWD

Guests continued to trickle in as the first model emerged. Padma Lakshmi was able to catch the finale looks and finale walk, as well as Gurung’s post-show run through the drizzle, which was recorded by a low-flying drone that followed closely behind him.

“I wear his clothes, I love his clothes,” said “And Just Like That” star Sarita Choudhury after the show as the designer held court at the base of the stairs leading up to the park. “It was so hectic today — I’m so impressed. To me, drama is amazing, so the fact it rained, there was traffic, it took two whole hours to get here: that’s fashion.” — KRISTEN TAUER

CHRISTIAN’S FAN CLUB: Even before Sia came out and surprised the crowd with a two-song live set for the finale, the Christian Siriano show was a starry, action-packed affair.

VIPs attending the show included Janet Jackson, marking her second time at a Siriano show after last fall’s big debut; Kesha and Avril Lavigne, who chatted throughout; Quinta Brunson; Laverne Cox; Padma Lakshmi; Laura Linney; Rosie Perez; Sarah Hyland, and Alicia Silverstone.

“I think we both probably consider him our boyfriend,” Linney said, motioning to Perez next to her, of their relationship with the designer. “I think probably every woman here considers Christian their boyfriend. He’s deeply kind and unbelievably talented, and I love that he sees beauty wherever he looks.”

Laverne Cox, Quinta Brunson and Sarah Hyland at the Christian Siriano Spring 2024 Ready To Wear Fashion Show at the Pierre Hotel on September 8, 2023 in New York, New York.

Laverne Cox, Quinta Brunson and Sarah Hyland at the Christian Siriano spring 2024 fashion show at the Pierre Hotel in New York on Friday.

Gilbert Flores for WWD

“I just think that when you meet him, it becomes an experience and then it becomes a relationship,” Perez added. “You become friends, you text, you call, you go out to dinner, you hang out, and that’s not normal. He doesn’t have a big ego.”

Siriano was celebrating the 15th anniversary of his brand that afternoon; when asked how they’d celebrated a favorite birthday, Linney deadpanned that she’d “had too many birthdays.”

“Eleven was a good day, I’m going to go with 11,” she said. “There was chocolate cake and some wax lips.”

For Perez, birthdays are the best day of the year.

“Every birthday — it’s my favorite holiday, my birthday,” she said.

While taking in the show, Silverstone sat with her hand on Linney’s knee, both entranced. Hyland, at one particularly fluffy gown, had both hands on her cheeks, nearly in shock. — L.N.

SUPIMA WINNERS: A panel of more than 20 industry veterans, editors, designers and stylists named Drexel University’s Carla Pierini the winner of the 16th annual Supima Design Competition Thursday.

The competition tasked Pierini and finalists chosen by other top design schools with creating eveningwear capsule collections entirely from Supima’s American-grown cotton. The students presented their final designs Thursday at a live runway show at The Prince George Ballroom as part of New York Fashion Week.

Carlini Pierini, center, was named the winner of the 16th annual Supima design competiton.

Carlini Pierini, center, was named the winner of the 16th annual Supima design competiton.

Courtesy of Supima

Pierini, a Venezuelan immigrant herself, said she drew inspiration from her experience visiting a refugee camp last year. Her collection ultimately looks to tell the story of the ongoing refugee crisis, of rebuilding oneself and starting over.

“I wanted to tell this story, but it wasn’t only about me,” Pierini said during her acceptance speech. “It’s about my people. I’m just representing people working for what they want in life.”

In addition to Pierini, graduating seniors from seven other schools participated in the event: Amber Kuia from Academy of Art University, Alexander Ziemba from Los Angeles’ Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Hee Jin Hwang from Fashion Institute of Technology, Wendy Wang from Kent State University, Tianze Wu from The New School’s Parsons School of Design, Sahara Clemons from Rhode Island School of Design and Mariana Espinosa of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Each designer was assigned a faculty mentor in May and provided material from Supima’s fabric partners, including Albini, Colorich, Metro Dyeing LLC, Olah Inc., Olimpias, Rainbow, Tintex and Kaihara Denim. Supima tasked participants with creating five looks from five types of fabric: twill, shirting, jersey, denim and velveteen. CFDA Award-winning eveningwear designer Bibhu Mohapatra mentored this year’s finalists — his ninth time doing so — offering insight, support and counsel throughout the program.

Former Moschino creative director and “Making the Cut” judge Jeremy Scott, the host of this year’s fashion show, said the competition is “a great space” for up-and-coming talent to find mentorship and gain exposure.

“I think there’s a lot of potential,” Scott told WWD sister publication Sourcing Journal. “I mean you have a room full of professionals who are able to talk about it, get their names out there.”

Each collection was evaluated by a panel of more than 20 judges, including Scott and Mohapatra. Designs were evaluated on originality, execution and “ability to showcase Supima.” As the winner, Pierini will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Scott had a chance to meet each finalist one-on-one Wednesday and learn about the intricacies and passion behind each cotton-rich collection.

“It was so sweet to hear all their different stories, the passion behind what they were doing, what they were trying to say,” Scott said. “Each one…has a story that was very heartfelt.” — CHELSEA DOBROSIELSKI

FOR THE RECORD: Alamo Records, the pioneering multigenre label of renowned artists such as Lil Durk, Rod Wave, 03 Greedo and DD Osama, is teaming up with luxury eyewear brand Thierry Lasry.

“As Alamo extends our brand into areas outside of music, fashion is a focus, and Thierry an obvious first partner. His cutting-edge aesthetic perfectly dovetails with the lifestyle that our brand represents and that’s why our artists and team love and wear his glasses. It was a very natural union and I think the quality of the result speaks to that,” said Todd Moscowitz, founder and chief executive officer of Alamo Records.

Todd Moscowitz and Thierry Lasry

Todd Moscowitz and Thierry Lasry

Courtesy Thierry Lasry

Handcrafted with precision in Italy, each pair of sunglasses is brought to life using Lasry’s signature medium of acetate. According the two brands, every detail is infused with care, thoughtful design and impeccable craftsmanship. Packaging is ’80s-inspired, with a vibrant Rubik’s cube-style box, paying homage the era.

“Hip-hop has always played a big role in my personal style as it’s who I am in my creative universe. This is [the] first of the many collaborations I’ve done that I get to do in the music industry and creates a real link with rap music,” Lasry said. “I moved to [New York] 10 years ago and now I get to team up with Alamo, a [New York] record label that promotes up and coming rappers, so it comes full circle for me.”

The collection look book features a curated selection of artists known for their distinctive personal style, including Wolfacejoeyy, Dina Ayada and Reuben Aziz. These artists join an illustrious list of Lasry’s aficionados, which includes icons like Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Travis Scott, Madonna, Travis Barker, Future, Lady Gaga and more.

The capsule collection, consisting of one distinct style, retails for $555. — THOMAS WALLER

THE SCENT OF ORANGES: On the eve of New York Fashion Week, Austin Butler was at the Times Square Edition for a party celebrating YSL’s Myslf fragrance. The actor was revealed as the ambassador for the new men’s scent last month, and his campaign played on a loop behind the DJ booth throughout the evening.

“I’ve been a fan of YSL for a long time. Many, many years, just aesthetically,” said Butler from a private meeting room at the hotel, where he held court as the party got underway at the Paradise Club nearby. Later in the evening, rapper Lil Yachty performed a surprise two-song set.

Austin Butler

Austin Butler

Sydney Jackson/

“Once I started to learn more about Yves Saint Laurent, the man, what a rebel he was and how he broke through labels — and also how he delved into his own psyche and how it was about his relationship with himself and trying to understand himself, I started to be more and more inspired by him as an individual,” Butler added.

The actor’s relationship with the fragrance is new, but the scent evokes the memory of his childhood in Orange County.

“One of the key notes and one of the first things that they incorporated into the fragrance was the smell of orange blossoms,” said Butler. “And that was the first thing that came to my memory when I smelled it, because it was my childhood. I had this orange tree in my backyard, and so when the tree would blossom my mom and I would go and pick oranges. I just have such vivid memories of that time, so that’s really the core memory that comes up for me.”

Butler was sticking around town to check out a friend’s art show: Ed Ruscha, whose retrospective “Now Then” opens to the public at MoMA on Sunday. “We’re going to have lunch with him and then go over there,” said Butler. — K.T.

STAYING COOL: It’s been rather steamy in New York these first few days of NYFW and, yes, the celebrities have struggled with what to wear just as much as everyone else. 

Chase Stokes, the breakout star of Netflix series “Outerbanks,” was front row at Coach for Stuart Vevers’ 10th anniversary show, and in a sea of leather looks borrowed straight from the runway on the rest of the celebs, Stokes had opted for a simple white ribbed tank.  

Chase Stokes and Camila Mendes

Chase Stokes and Camila Mendes

Nina Westervelt/WWD

“I went for ‘New York heat wave chic’-esque,” he said of his look. “I was like it’s too hot to wear [anything else]. I applaud so many people who wore great looks but I was, like, you know what…”

Stokes may be a fashion week newbie but he’s learning the ropes quickly. 

“This is my first fashion week. This is my first show,” he said, before clarifying that it was actually his second-ever fashion show, having made his debut a few days ago alongside his Coach seatmate Camila Mendes. “I’ve always been working so this is the first time I could come.” 

The “Riverdale” actress and “Outerbanks” star were joined by other teen TV drama celebs, including Dove Cameron, “The Summer I Turned Pretty” star Lola Tung and “Queen Charlotte” star India Amarteifio, as well as Lil Nas X. Seated across the runway, perched between editors, was Jennifer Lopez, who commanded a swarm of photographers all on her own. 

After the show, celebrities and editors alike joined Vevers upstairs at the New York Public Library for a special celebratory dinner. — L.N.

TALKING SPRING AT SPADE: Kate Spade took over the Chelsea Market Passage on the High Line on Friday morning to present its new spring collection. Between the summery weather and looming fall season, guests had plenty of fashion options to consider. 

“What I love about fall is kind of the same thing I love about spring, which is that you can do a hybrid of warm and cold weather clothes. I think it’s so much more fun to get to layer,” said Stephanie Hsu, who’s been making the fashion week rounds and is also doing a reading of a play while in town. For the presentation, she went sans layers in a Kate Spade pink, green and blue two-piece. 

Molly Gordon, Christina Ricci and Stephanie Hsu

Molly Gordon, Christina Ricci and Stephanie Hsu

Gilbert Flores/WWD

“I love how much fun Kate Spade has,” Hsu added. “The colorfulness in the different patterns that they use doesn’t take itself too seriously. And it’s always good for a picnic.”

Guests made their way past models perched on artificial-turf-covered pedestals, rewarded on the other side with a lemonade and iced tea stand.

Molly Gordon was admiring the bright colors on display — “it’s going to inspire me to bring some more color into my wardrobe since I just wear a lot of black usually,” she said — and noted that she was also excited for fall weather ahead. “I love a sweater, and I love a coat,” she added. 

Gordon attended the CFDA Awards with Kate Spade in 2019, and also walked in the brand’s runway show at the Elizabeth Street Garden that same year. “It’s very interesting to be back here, and not as a model,” said Gordon. “I felt very short, but I felt very lucky to be part of it. I just love their clothes. They’re very comfortable, they’re more affordable. I just think they’re like a beautiful company.”

Christina Ricci also enthused about the accessibility of the brand. 

“I grew up here in New York. I remember as I was getting to the age where I was buying myself a handbag or a purse — or whatever you want to call it — my first really nice bag was a Kate Spade bag,” said Ricci. “If you needed something, you could just always trust that the brand was going to give you something chic and easy to wear.” — K.T.

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