Rebel Wilson joins Kate Spade to kick off New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week got off to a star-studded start on Friday morning, as Rebel Wilson joined celebrity daughters Ava Philippe and Ella Travolta at 3 World Trade Centre for the Kate Spade SS23 presentation. Rejina Hall, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Ziwe Fumudoh and German influencer Leonie Hanne also joined the diverse guest list of international buyers and editors and swathes of TikTok creators.

“A lot of people perceive Kate Spade as being a very specific woman, clothes for a very specific type of woman and we really want to put forward the idea that our product can really touch – and has touched – every woman of every demographic all over the world,” said Tom Mora, a long-serving KSNY employee who has this season been promoted, alongside Jennifer Lyu, to the role of Head Designer. “I think the breadth of women that came today to celebrate with us show the diversity and uniqueness ands specialness of our brand. A lot of it has to do with women really enjoying femininity and colour and handbags, and just the lightness to it.”

“There’s a real humour to Kate Spade the brand, humour and grace, and I think Rebel reflects that really well,” added Jennifer Lyu as we drank shots of green juice and admired the colourful crowd in attendance.

It was the first time the brand had held an in-person fashion week event since before the pandemic, and the event had a celebratory air. The collection, named ‘Flowers and Showers’ was a tribute to the joys of spring – even the simple pleasure of getting caught in the rain. Turf mounds were strewn on the floor, balloon clouds covered the ceiling and there was even a wall of rain hammering down behind the row of models posing in floral rainwear, sequinned dresses and the brand’s signature spots and stripes.

“We wanted to show the joy of spring, but all of it,” said Mora. “It wasn’t just about just the sunshine it was really about the beginning of spring too where there is clouds, there is snow, there is rain. That idea of really embracing it and really enjoying the moments.”

Rommel Demano/BFA.com

A shiny PVC chartreuse rain hat and matching jacket were particularly strong. “We usually cower from the rain under an umbrella,” he continued, “but what if you opened yourself up and stood up straight and actually just looked at the world from that perspective of positivity of what’s to come… something really magical could happen.”

While Mora oversees the ready-to-wear, Jennifer Lyu is in charge of leather goods. And for the 30th anniversary collection she focussed on bringing back a Kate Spade classic, the Sam Bag. The boxy silhouette first launched back when the brand did in 1993 and yet thanks to its sleek, minimal silhouette, feels very fresh for our nineties-obsessed times.

Rommel Demano/BFA.com

“Kate Spade New York has such a rich history,” says Lyu. “To go back and revive one of my all time favourite handbags was such a pleasure. It felt really intuitive, not only is it our 30th anniversary but there’s also this convergence with the 90s. We look to the past, but also the future. What’s modern, what’s desirable. That’s how Kate approached design as well.”

Scroll the gallery above for images from the event, and check out the other celebrities FROW at NYFW here

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