Fashion Week

How Karrueche Tran Primped & Prepped For Coach’s Front Row

“I definitely want to stand out.”

Karrueche Tran takes Bustle through her experience at the Coach fashion show at NYFW.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

What hasn’t Karrueche Tran done? The 33-year-old Los Angeles native is a model, actress, and Emmy Award-winning producer who’s gearing up for the final season of her breakout hit show Claws on TNT where she stars as Virginia Loc, a former exotic dancer-turned-manicurist.

That’s, of course, in between the countless other projects she’s got in rotation. “The last season of Claws comes out soon, and I just started filming a sci-fi film,” Tran tells Bustle. “[And I’m] getting into skincare, which I’m excited about. And something special with Coach.”

That “something special,” as it turns out, is a partnership that kicked off with an appearance at her first-ever Coach runway show during New York Fashion Week. The heritage brand outfitted Tran in looks from its latest collection for the occasion, and she settled on a ’90s-inspired ensemble that would make a lasting impression.

“I wanted an outfit that stood out and made a statement,” she says. “I’ve always been a fan of Coach, even in my younger years. I remember all the hype around Coach in high school.”

All the “it girls” wore Coach back then, says Tran. “[They] were wearing the signature bucket hat with the matching belt and high-top sneakers,” she says. “When I saw the bucket hat, I just knew I had to wear it.”

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

And when you know a sea of photographers will all capture that one look, there’s intense pressure to nail that front-row ensemble. Tran’s advice? Go big and bold, but don’t lose sight of dressing like yourself and being comfortable — there’s nothing worse than fidgeting with an uncomfortable outfit all night long.

“I definitely want to wear something I probably wouldn’t wear on a regular day,” she says. “I also think it’s important to feel comfortable in my outfit, which helps me be confident. I’m petite, so I want to wear the clothes and not let the clothes wear me.”

Tran is also a true mood-based dresser, choosing looks that coincide with the vibe she’d like to convey for the specific day or occasion. She also emphasizes selecting outfits that accentuate her body type, like crop tops and high-waisted bottoms.

“If I’m feeling sexy, I’ll wear a dress,” she says. “Sometimes I want to wear something loose-fitting that’s not hugging the body, so I’ll do a pair of baggy jeans and a cute top. Whatever is going to make me feel comfortable and confident.”

As for Tran’s NYFW handbag essentials? “Lip gloss, hand sanitizer, and blotting papers,” she says.

Here, she walks Bustle through her process getting ready for the big show on Sept. 10.

3 p.m.: Glam done — time to get dressed!

Randy Singleton

Since the Coach show was during the day, Tran wanted “simple and fresh glam” that didn’t feel fussy or heavy. She went with a soft, clean face with a deep lip that felt perfect for fall.

3:15 p.m.: Brown and neutral tones... my fave!

Randy Singleton

Tran stuck to an autumn-friendly color palette for her outfit as well, going with a cream sweater bearing the Coach logo, a brown leather skirt, and a beige bucket hat with the iconic allover C print.

3:30 p.m.: Which bag are we thinking?

Randy Singleton

For bags, Tran had an assortment of items to choose from: bright red hobos, pastel handbags, and teal crossbody purses.

3:45 p.m.: The cutest bag! I added the scarf for extra detail.

Randy Singleton

Ultimately, she went with a soft shade of pink that complemented her beige and brown color palette, adding a matching scarf for a touch of personality.

4 p.m.: Feeling like Cinderella...

Randy Singleton

Everything from Tran’s embellished shoes to her logo-friendly hat made her feel like she was living in a fashion fairytale.

4:15 p.m.: Last looks!

Randy Singleton

Before hitting the road, Tran did one last check on her makeup and hair, making sure everything looked perfect.

4:45 p.m.: Running late, but there’s always time for a cute moment.

Randy Singleton

Her fun-loving personality was on display as she took a moment to pose on a hotel luggage cart before wowing photographers at Coach’s front row.