Last week fashion brand Coach celebrated its recent collaboration with local Dallas artist Arthur Peña, W magazine, and fifty art and fashion aficionados for dinner at The Joule Hotel in downtown Dallas.

Arthur Peña and Justine Ludwig

Arthur Peña and Justine Ludwig

Jane Aldridge and Jeff Dashley

Jane Aldridge and Jeff Dashley

Caper Ryan, Maxine Trowbridge and Shelly Rosenberg

Capera Ryan, Maxine Trowbridge and Shelly Rosenberg

In anticipation for the new Coach store opening at NorthPark Center at the end of June, the collaboration, initiated between Coach and Dallas Contemporary’s senior curator and director of exhibitions, Justine Ludwig, includes an exhibition of Peña’s new works titled, a place for everything, no time for nothing, which is showcased on level one between Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.

Brooke and Blake Davenport

Brooke and Blake Davenport

Coach handbag showcased with Arthur Pena print

Coach handbag showcased with Arthur Peña print

Lyn McBee and Joyce Goss

Lyn McBee and Joyce Goss

Peña, an artist, writer, and co-founder of Deadbolt Studios, is also an art educator and visiting lecturer at SMU Meadows School of Arts. Last spring he directed and debuted an experimental collaborative musical at the Nasher Sculpture Center titled, endless/nameless last, and in 2013 showcased a solo exhibition titled, slight shift/steady hand at Dallas Contemporary. Selected by Ludwig to collaborate with Coach, Justine shared, “Working with Arthur Peña on creating an exhibition and city-wide activations to highlight Coach’s new store in NorthPark Center was an unprecedented opportunity to highlight Dallas-based talent.”

Attempt 150, 2017, oil, pine, drywall, 13" x 15" by Arthur Pena

Attempt 150, 2017, oil, pine, drywall, 13″ x 15″

Attempt 151, 2017, oil, pine, drywall, 18 1/4" x 22" by Arthur Pena

Attempt 151, 2017, oil, pine, drywall, 18 1/4″ x 22″

Coach has certainly made an impact on the industry, and shoppers alike most recently. Early June Coach creative director Stuart Vevers received the 2017 CFDA Fashion Award for Accessory Designer of the Year—taking the helm at Coach in 2013 after the departure of Reed Krakoff. The brand is currently finalising its acquisition of Kate Spade, and along with the Stuart Weitzman purchase in 2015; the fashion brand is certainly on a stylish roll.

To wit, Coach executive Peter Panagiotopoulos announced during dinner that Dallas would be one of three stores across the country to offer Rogue handbags, a made-to-order service for ladies to get creative and design their bespoke totes. And creativity is certainly a nurturing aspect of the company culture. “The brand has placed great faith in this city’s creative community, which has led to a sincere investigation of the legacy of art and music as sources of creative expression and inspiration,” Ludwig added regarding Pena’s work that will also exhibit across the city. Just goes to show that art and fashion always reside in perfect harmony.

Chandra North, Robyn Siegel and Jeremy Strick

Chandra North, Robyn Siegel and Jeremy Strick

Coach dinner tablescape at The Joule Hotel

Coach dinner tablescape at The Joule Hotel

Cindy and Armond Schwartz

Cindy and Armond Schwartz

Attending with my girlfriends, Capera Ryan and Shelly Rosenberg, the dinner hosted on the terrace of The Joule Hotel was simply impeccable, the weather a perfect temperature, with the best-dressed guests wearing Coach styles, such as Jane Aldridge decked out in a leather ensemble with fiancé Jeff Dashley, Brooke Davenport in a pink Moto leather jacket, Joyce Goss in a red version, and I wore a red satin varsity style embroidered jacket.

Photos: Steve Wrubel