There’s a lot more to the world’s most-followed Instagrammer than meets the eye. Yes, Selena Gomez may have shot to fame as a child actress and singer, but she’s also an entrepreneur, a philanthropist and a true creative, in every sense of the word.
The most recent accolade Gomez can add to her already star-spangled CV is as a Coach collaborator. The 25-year-old announced a partnership with the all-American luxury brand earlier this year and now the results of the collaboration are on sale in the form of one stylish handbag that comes in three brilliant, very-now colours. The Coach x Selena Gomez collection also includes a selection of accessories.
The partnership is not just about pretty handbags, though. Gomez is, first and foremost, a businesswoman. But having been at the sharp end of the celebrity world for her entire adult life (and most of her teenage one), she’s understandably keen to be in charge of her own personal brand.
“It’s really great to have an influence and some control when you’re working with a brand,” says Gomez of the partnership. “Having control in a situation is something that’s important to me, as a woman and as a businessperson.”
Gomez is also keen that she uses her own influence to benefit others. At 17 she became a UNICEF ambassador and this latest collaboration involves Gomez working with the Coach Foundation and Step Up, a national organisation dedicated to the empowerment of teenage girls from under-resourced communities.
As for the design elements of the collaboration, Coach’s creative director Stuart Vevers was keen to make sure that it felt true to who Gomez is as a person. After all, in a world dominated by social media, authenticity is more valuable than ever. And Gomez’s own ability to be true to herself has played a huge part in her success.
“We discovered Selena is a carryall girl. She wanted something streamlined, smart, but not too formal, with clean lines, important hardware,” says Vevers. “Something she could use that could go with anything.”
Luxury meeting practicality? That’s something we can get behind. “I think the ultimate bag is something that goes with almost everything and you don’t have to even give it a second thought if it goes with your outfit,” adds Gomez.
But what was it like being in the design studio? “I’ve really learned to appreciate the craftsmanship and small details of a bag,” says Gomez. Vevers echoes this, saying it was a fun project to work together on. “We connected as two creatives,” he says. “It was me figuring out how I could make the designs feel right for her, and for Selena, a way to express herself. There’s something joyful about creating something new; we were playing. It was genuinely fun.”
Gomez, it would seem, has only gone from strength to strength since her days in Wizards of Waverly Place. Fame hasn’t gone to her head, and she’s avoided the pitfalls of many other young stars. “She’s got a warmth that’s special,” confirms Vevers. “There is a realness to her. To me, she speaks to a generation.”
Ultimately, this realness comes from a place of self-knowledge and awareness, which Gomez puts front and centre of everything she does – including this collaboration. The Selena Grace bag is customised with “Love yourself first” in Selena's handwriting – a phrase inspired by one of her tattoos – embossed on the bottom of the bag.
“I have spoken with my fans about the importance of taking care of yourself,” she says. “I am so lucky to get to be creative in my life, and work on a variety of projects. But it is very important to make time for yourself, listen to yourself, and be kind to yourself."