Once we were a safe distance away from the end of New York Fashion Week, we rang up Gomez after the Coach show to discuss the virtues of a great top-handle bag, what she listens to when getting decked out for a red carpet, and her secret-sauce combo for looking amazing when you feel kind of crappy. (Spoiler: Like all things trendy, it involves a choker.) Also, sentimental packrats out there, you'll be comforted to know that Gomez, too, has a hard time letting go of stuff in her closet — especially when it comes to her first-ever "pricy" purchase. Read on for more.
You go to a very select couple of shows every time Fashion Month rolls around. What was special about going to your first Coach show?
"The relationship I’ve created with Stuart [Vevers]. I’m very selective with the relationships I make with people; not for any reason other than that that’s just how I was brought up. Stuart and I really bonded — we spoke for weeks and weeks before we decided to do something together. He showed me his vision of what he wants Coach to be, what it stands for, and how it’s this great American brand, and it seemed like such a good match. Honestly, I felt proud of him when he came out at the end of the show — I was so excited for him. I got emotional."
What’s the fashion show-going experience like for you?
"There's a little bit of pressure when you’re in the front row! You kind of have to sit still, and be positioned in a proper way. I would bring food if I could, but it just doesn’t really work like that at a fashion show; I would probably offend so many people. It’s really cool. I loved sitting with Anna [Wintour] and her team — I’ve known Anna for a really long time, so it was cool to talk to her about where I’ve been the past few months and how she’s definitely inspired me to do a lot of charitable work. We got to catch up, which was really nice."
Has Anna ever given you any style advice?
"She hasn’t said anything about how I look! The first time I had lunch with her, we talked about the foundation of work she’s done in her life, and the ability I have to use my platform for good, which is something I’ve always strived for. All of our conversations have focused on that. She asked me questions about Coach, too, of course. She’s very smart; very wise."
What has the process of working with Coach and Stuart been like?
"It’s really great to have an influence and some control when you’re working with a brand. Having control in a situation is something that’s important to me, as a woman and as a businessperson. One of the first things they said when I joined the Coach family is that they wanted me to feel safe. What they represent as a brand is something I can embody. The handbag I’m designing has an inspirational message that comes with the bag."
"I’m a carryall girl, so I’ve been using Coach’s Rogue bag (pictured above) because I can throw my whole life in it — I’m that girl. I just want to be prepared for everything. The Dinky is really classic and cute, and that’s a style the brand is known for. But you can put your lipstick, phone, and money in it, so I’ve used the Rogue a lot more."
What’s the most essential feature for a bag to have (besides generous proportions)?
"I lose my phone constantly. It's not like I leave it places, but it disappears into my bag sometimes, so I need pockets. Otherwise, I can never find my phone, and then I’ll freak and dump my entire bag out; it’s very unnecessary. Also, I don’t like a lot of straps — I like holding things by handles. I like the option of a shoulder strap, but there’s nothing like a good top-handle detail for me."
What was your very first Coach bag, ever?
"Where I’m from in Texas, Coach was the essential handbag brand that was affordable and approachable, but still pricy. My cousin, Priscilla, and I both saved up to get small, matching wallets. Mine was a white leather little card case — it wasn’t even a full-sized wallet, really. I’d just slide in my school ID, basically."
Do you still have it somewhere?
"Honestly, probably! I’m such a hoarder, I bet I have it in storage. I guarantee you, I could find it somewhere. I have more storage than a normal person does. I shouldn't have that much stuff."
You’ve been killing it with your fashion choices this week. How do you and your stylist strategize your outfits for sitting front row or hitting up fashion events?
"For me, it has to seem effortless. I’ve never been somebody who wants to make everything look perfect. I like having a little texture, but I still keep things simple. I’ve always been incredibly easy to work with — I have a good relationship with my team, and they’ve been with me for years. If I take certain chances fashion-wise, I keep it very minimal. It’s more about statement pieces. I’ve always been a classics girl. My team and I don’t really have a strategy [for fashion shows] — we just try to get that classic, simple Selena look. It just happens organically. My fittings are really fun; we’re always blaring music."
What’s on your playlist for fittings?
"I like listening to pretty, light songs — I love R&B, or pop. Sometimes I’ll do Etta James or Ella Fitzgerald if I’m getting really dressed up. It just depends on my mood."