DOWN IN DALLAS: Coach wined and dined 50 Dallas fashion and art elites, influencers and philanthropists Thursday at The Joule Hotel. The teaser for the new, expanded store, opening June 30 at NorthPark Center, was also a celebration of the brand’s commission of work by Dallas artist Arthur Peña. It was the first such collaboration for Coach, and the artist created colorful abstract murals for three branded billboard-like banners around town plus an exhibition that runs through early July in the mall. NorthPark is known for its museum-quality collection of modern and contemporary art, and Dallas is a hotbed of contemporary art collectors.

Dallas Contemporary exhibition director and senior curator Justine Ludwig linked Peña with the brand. “Stuart Vevers [Coach’s creative director] brings art and music together in a really beautiful way, and that’s what Arthur does in his practice,” she said, noting Peña’s openings regularly feature a band. “Thank you, Coach, for having faith in Dallas-based talent.”

Guests included Lynn McBee, Jane Aldridge, Michelle Nussbaumer, Maxine Trowbridge, Brooke and Blake Davenport, Chandra and Daniel Blaylock, Jenny Kirtland, Bradley Agather Means and Peña. A number of them were dressed by the brand.

“I think they are doing some incredible things right now, like purchasing Kate Spade, and Stuart just got the CFDA award for accessories,” Trowbridge observed. “My jacket is Coach, and I have to say when it came I was really impressed with the way the it was made. I think it will be exciting to see what the new store looks like.”

“I like that they have $700 bags,” noted Nussbaumer, who carried the brand’s signature Rogue. “It has a boho maximalist vibe, but it’s not a maximalist price.”

The new store will be 25 percent bigger than the one it replaces and features a new craftsmanship bar for in-house monogramming and other services. Beginning this fall, it will be one of three Coach stores in the U.S. that offer made-to-order Rogue handbags. The others are the Fifth Avenue flagship and a South Coast Plaza store that also debuts June 30. “We really believe in this market,” said Peter Panagiotopoulos, general manager of retail.

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