The name of the drink really said it all: East Meets West.
For Coach’s collaboration with Chinese artists for its Shanghai pre-fall 2019 show, cultural and brand mergers were the theme for a dinner in West Hollywood to celebrate the partnerships.
“East meets West is definitely something that’s been in the Yeti Out brand since the beginning,” said Tom Bray, who started the artist collective with his brother Arthur. “Me and my brother were born and raised in Hong Kong. My mom’s Chinese. My dad’s English and we lived in England for about three, four years during our university years. So throughout our record releases to our parties and our apparel range, we always try to replicate that message and try and bridge the gap between the two cultures.”
Bray — whose business can best be described as a music collective and includes a record label, creative agency and clothing brand — said he was put in touch with Coach through a mutual friend and things happened quickly from there.
“In China, everything is done on WeChat so I was added to a WeChat group and next thing we know, we were in a conversation about the concept behind the graphic,” Bray said.
Yeti Out produces apparel on a regular fashion calendar for its wholesale business, in addition to drops between the seasons. The link with Coach marked the first time working with a luxury brand, but the partnership is in line with what Yeti Out is really all about, Bray pointed out.
“The two words [luxury and streetwear] have different types of audiences and it’s good people can learn from others’ cultures and also tap into each other’s audiences so I don’t feel like it needs to be that segregated,” Bray said. “If we can learn from each other, whether it’s different cultures or different brands or different markets, that’s the whole point of collaboration. It’s not really about two logos next to each other. It’s about what can we merge in-between the brand stories.”
The West Hollywood dinner was the kickoff celebration for the collaboration and will be followed by a dinner and pop-up in Vancouver Wednesday and then in Bray’s hometown of Shanghai.
Guests passed Night + Market’s kitchen as they made their way to an outdoor patio, dining on wings, spicy eggplant, garlic green beans, sticky rice and pad thai for dinner. Punch outs of Yeti Out’s smiley face logo, merged with Coach’s Rexy the dinosaur to serve as a confettilike runner down each table. Guests were whisked away to Teddy’s Bar for the after party, where Bray DJ’d.
Coach tapped Banana Magazine’s cofounders to help plan and host the event, which runs alongside Asian Pacific-American Heritage Month.
“This was really important to us and also timed really well to the launch of our issue five,” said Kathleen Tso, who founded the magazine five years ago with Vicki Ho. “It was just a really good opportunity from Coach because they’re shining a light on all these Asian designers and it was a really good opportunity to bring the Asian community together out here in L.A.”