Coach Announces Opening of ‘Coach House’ Flagship Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City

Stuart Weitzman Opens Separate Flagship at Same Location

Coach, Inc. announced the opening of its newest flagship in one of the world’s most prestigious shopping districts at 685 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Timed to coincide with the brand’s 75th Anniversary Year, this unique retail concept marks a defining moment in both the company’s history and brand transformation.coach-logo

Coach, Inc. is a leading New York design house of modern luxury accessories and lifestyle brands. The Coach brand was established in New York City in 1941, and has a rich heritage of pairing exceptional leathers and materials with innovative design.

The 20,000 square foot retail space dedicated to the Coach brand, designed by Executive Creative Director Stuart Vevers in partnership with William Sofield, Designer and President of Studio Sofield, showcases the brand’s distinctive modern luxury positioning. Specifically, the interior features an impressive blackened steel and concrete staircase, which creates a sense of discovery while shopping, as well as a glass enclosed, vintage inspired elevator. Throughout the three-level flagship is a mix of eclectic and bespoke furniture and objects, accented by custom-designed cabinetry, warm lighting, proprietary carpets and fine millwork. Additional architectural elements include a glass-block facade, expansive windows and a captivating mechanized conveyor belt installed with a rotation of Coach products.

The center atrium houses a 12-foot sculpture of Coach’s dinosaur, Rexy, designed by renowned artist Billie Achilleos, and constructed entirely from Coach bags and proprietary hardware. In addition, a monumental contemporary sculpture, Scribing the Void, created by Brooklyn artist Kurt Steger traces the surface of iconic rock formations in Central Park, and is a nod to Coach’s New York City roots.

Victor Luis, Chief Executive Officer of Coach, Inc. said, “With Coach House, we are celebrating our New York heritage and 75-year history of craftsmanship. The flagship features the full expression of our women’s and men’s collections including bags, small leather goods, footwear, and ready-to-wear, in addition to offering a full range of customization and leather services. Together with the opening of the adjacent Stuart Weitzman flagship store, we are bringing two global brands born in New York City to one iconic location.”

The company is also launching two concepts unique to Coach House flagships that speak to the brand’s heritage of leather craftsmanship and innovative design. First, the Made to Order Rogue, which allows customers to create a bespoke Rogue bag, selecting from nine points of customization and over one million possible combinations. Second, the Coach House Workshop – which is the first of its kind – offering expanded leather and craftsmanship services, including special monogramming and exclusive vintage product, featuring a resident master craftsman with nearly 30 years of experience in the New York Workshop at Coach’s headquarters.

Andre Cohen, President North America and Global Marketing, added, “We are thrilled to open a true home for the Coach brand on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 54th Street, an address globally recognized for fashion. We’re confident that our modern luxury store environment will be warmly embraced by discerning New York shoppers and international visitors alike.

Coach is sold worldwide through Coach stores, select department stores and specialty stores, and through Coach’s website at www.coach.com. In 2015, Coach acquired Stuart Weitzman, a global leader in designer footwear, sold in more than 70 countries and through its website at www.stuartweitzman.com.

Johnnie Walker Announces Keep Walking America Campaign, Celebrating Cultural Progress And Diversity In America

This Land Is Your Land, This Land Was Made For You And Me”

This Land Is Your Land,” the iconic song and rallying cry for American unification penned by Woodie Guthrie, is at the heart of Johnnie Walker’s new Keep Walking America campaign. After what was undeniably the most racially divisive presidential election in recent history, it’s safe to say that we all need to remember and get back to celebrating what America should stand for, not what this election represented to the eyes of the world—and our fellow Americans.

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Johnnie Walker celebrates cultural progress and diversity in America with new campaign Keep Walking America (Photo: Merie Weismiller Wallace).

For more than 200 years, Johnnie Walker has inspired the world with stories of personal progress and Keep Walking America is another powerful collection of stories reflecting the countless achievements, unwavering optimism and tireless progression of the great people who call America home.

The new 360 marketing campaign, which premiered nationally on November 7th with a 60-second TV spot created by Anomaly and directed by Chris Sargent of Anonymous Content, celebrates the cultural progress and diversity that represents the fabric of America today. The lyrics of “This Land Is Your Land,” read in both English and Spanish, serve as the campaign’s anthem. The meaning behind the lyrics powerfully communicate the core message that America has always been and should always remain an inclusive nation, built on values that celebrate and reward people from all colors and creeds. The film was shot over two weeks and features real storylines of progress from Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Montana, New Orleans, Baltimore, New York and Washington DC.

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Johnnie Walker celebrates cultural progress and diversity in America with new campaign Keep Walking America (Photo: Merie Weismiller Wallace).

The message of Keep Walking America is supported by a variety of initiatives on a national and global level, each calling for a united, more open-minded society that can be a catalyst for progress and positive change. The brand recently traveled to Brownsville, Texas, a U.S.-Mexico border town, with celebrated actor, director and activist Wilmer Valderrama, to spotlight the rich community of cross-cultural Americans living in proximity to the border and to hear their personal stories of progress. This initiative mirrors recent global work from Colombia, which shared a message of unification during the ongoing peace treaty negotiations, and the brand’s Ode to Lesvos storyline, a deeply moving film series that sheds light on a community in Greece that has shown heroism and humanity during the Syrian refugee crisis.

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The ‘Scottish Affair’ cocktail crafted using Johnnie Walker Black Label developed by Gabe Orta, National Ambassador of new mixology-focused program Flavors of America (Photo: Shannon Sturg

Stephanie Jacoby, Vice President of Johnnie Walker North America stated, “We are extremely honored to continue taking a pioneering role in culture by championing and celebrating progress. Keep Walking America brings to life stories of cultural progress and diversity, and we hope this campaign inspires people to come together for a better future. Continue reading

Celebrate The Warmth Of Hearth And Home This Christmas At The Biltmore Estate

When George Vanderbilt opened The Biltmore Estate to family and friends on Christmas Eve 1895, it began a tradition at Biltmore that is carried on to this day. Christmas at Biltmore this year reflects the theme of “Hearth and Home,” getting right to the heart of what Vanderbilt intended for his North Carolina home.

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Christmas at Biltmore: Christmas Candlelight House (exterior)

Running through to Jan. 8, 2017, The Biltmore’s holiday celebration will provide guests with a completely immersive experience. The wonders of Biltmore House—masterpieces of art, architecture, and Vanderbilt family treasures—are enhanced with more than 70 intricately decorated trees along with hundreds of poinsettias and garlands. The towering 34-foot-tall Fraser Fir in the home’s immense Banquet Hall is the star attraction.

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The Banquet hall at the Biltmore House

While the sheer volume of Christmas décor is staggering, the resulting beauty is a testament to the expertise of Biltmore’s floral staff. This year, the team has interpreted the theme of “Hearth and Home” throughout the house, emphasizing fireplaces and mantels in the grand spaces with warm colors, soft textures, and vintage-inspired ornaments.

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Fireplace at The Biltmore

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Poinsettas in the Winter Garden

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Entry Hall

Guests may also enjoy the entire estate as part of their admission. The glass-roofed Conservatory anchoring the Walled Garden is filled with blooms, and daily seminars at A Gardener’s Place shop provide tips for guests’ own holiday décor. At Antler Hill Village & Winery, the Winery offers free tastings of Biltmore wines—including the new Christmas commemorative wine—and additional in-depth tours and programs to further wine appreciation. Weekends in the Village bring carolers sharing traditional Christmas favorites, and Santa making guest appearances at the bandstand to hear wish lists from guests of all ages.

Candlelight Christmas Evenings

From fireplace mantels draped with evergreens to towering trees festooned with lights, Candlelight Christmas Evenings provide a warm welcome on a frosty night. By reservation only, these evenings in Biltmore House have become a cherished holiday tradition for many who enjoy a uniquely different view of holiday lights and live music.

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Christmas Shop

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Celebrate The Holiday Season At The New-York Historical Society With the Annual Classic Toys And Trains Extravaganza

Holiday Express: Trains and Toys from the Jerni Collection On View Through February 26, 2017

Holiday Express: Trains and Toys from the Jerni Collection returns to the New-York Historical Society this holiday season to delight and inspire children of all ages. On view now through February 26, 2017, this vibrant and sweeping display of spectacular antique toy trains, toys, and scenic elements celebrates the beauty and allure of toys from a bygone era. Holiday Express: Trains and Toys from the Jerni Collection is sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

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A 360‐degree mountainous landscape showcases toy trains, miniature figures, and model buildings evoking the 1890s. The Jerni Collection, New‐York Historical Society

Holiday Express: Trains and Toys from the Jerni Collection is curated by Mike Thornton, associate curator of material culture at the New-York Historical Society. The display was designed by Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership (LHSA+DP), an integrated architecture and exhibit design firm that also designed New-York Historical’s DiMenna Children’s History Museum. Other consultants for Holiday Express include T W TrainWorx, a nationally recognized model train specialist and designer of custom toy train layouts; and exhibition media producers Batwin + Robin, renowned “media storytellers” with more than 20 years of experience in the theater, museums, and other venues.

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A crawl‐through space leading to a popup semisphere allows children to get an up‐close‐and‐personal view of the display, suggesting an early 20th century toy department. The Jerni Collection, New‐York Historical Society

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R. Bliss Co. U.S. Cruiser, 1906. The Jerni Collection, New‐York Historical Society

Holiday Express unfolds over a broad swath of New-York Historical’s first floor, featuring 300 pieces from the Jerni Collection that transform the space into a magical wonderland. Theatrical lighting, an ambient audio “soundscape,” and other visual effects immerse visitors in an enchanting holiday experience. The exhibition begins at the West 77th Street entrance, where trains appear to roar through the Museum with the help of four large-scale multimedia screens. A 360-degree mountainous landscape, on view in the Judith and Howard Berkowitz Sculpture Court, showcases toy trains, miniature figures, and model buildings evoking the 1890s. Continue reading

2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Official 2016 White House Ornament Commemorates Fire Trucks from 1929 White House Christmas Eve Fire

President Herbert Hoover honored with 36th Annual American-Made 2016 Christmas Ornament

The White House Historical Association, exclusive creator and manufacturer of the Official White House Christmas Ornament, continues the tradition of issuing the iconic collectible with the 36th ornament in the series. This year’s design was created by Kayla Whelan, a student designer at Montserrat College of Art, who won the Association’s national competition to create the 2016 design.

The White House Historical Association is a private nonpartisan, nonprofit that supports its mission to enhance the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the White House through sales of the annual, American-made ornament.

The Official 2016 White House Christmas Ornament

The Official 2016 White House Christmas Ornament from the White House Historical Association is American-made and honors President Herbert Hoover and the 1929 Christmas Eve fire. (PRNewsFoto/White House Historical Association)

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion‘s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $45 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission. (To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit: whitehousehistory.org.)

The festive design for the 2016 ornament is inspired by fire trucks that responded to the five alarm West Wing fire on Christmas Eve 1929, and the toy fire trucks presented to children by President and Mrs. Hoover the following year. Recognizing President Herbert Hoover as the 31st President of the United States and honoring the more than one hundred firefighters who responded to the blaze, the 2016 White House ornament is crafted from shiny brass plated with nickel and 24k gold, and the fire truck carries a Christmas tree for delivery to the White House.

The Official 2016 White House Ornament retails for $20.95 directly from the Association at its stores in Washington, D.C., online at whitehousehistory.org/2016, or by phone 1-800-555-2451. Select third-parties are authorized to resell the annual White House ornament, purchasing their inventory from the Association. (No alternative designs are authorized as the Official White House Christmas Ornament.)

The Diary of A Wimpy Kid’s Greg Heffley Returns to The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Greg Heffley, Star of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid® Book Series, is Set to Return to the Skies of New York City as a New Giant Character Balloon for the 90th Anniversary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®

Diary of A Wimpy Kid’s star “journal” keeper returns to the Macy’s Parade in celebration of the November 1, worldwide release of Double Down, book 11 in the international publishing phenomenon, Diary of A Wimpy Kid series by award-winning author Jeff Kinney

This Thanksgiving, a pop culture phenomenon returns to take flight as a new character helium balloon in the 90th Anniversary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®

Greg Heffley, the “journal” keeping star of the No. 1 bestselling Diary of A Wimpy Kid® book series that now has 180 million copies in print globally, as well as the 20th Century Fox film series, is set to delight legions of fans worldwide during the holiday procession. On Thursday, Nov. 24, more than 3.5 million spectators and more than 50 million television viewers will marvel as the newly colorful Greg Heffley takes a tumble down the route for his first chilly flight down the streets of New York City. Accompanying his famed protagonist will be award-winning author Jeff Kinney, who is expected to help guide the new balloon down the streets of Manhattan during a stop on his global tour in support of the new book.

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Diary of A Wimpy Kid’s Greg Heffley returns to the skies of New York City this November as a colorful new giant character helium balloon in the 90th Anniversary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Photo: Business Wire)

The new Diary of A Wimpy Kid balloon is an extraordinarily colorful and animated take on everyone’s favorite “journal” writer,” said Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “In keeping with his trademark clumsy nature, Greg Heffley will clutch his most prized possession as he slips on the wintery ice down the entire Macy’s Parade route, and tumbles once again into the hearts of millions of spectators in New York and across the country.

Transformed to more closely resemble Greg’s colorful new look as illustrated in the latest Diary of A Wimpy Kid books, Greg is ready for the winter decked out in red snow boots, blue puffer coat, red ear muffs and a green/yellow striped scarf. While he may be bundled up for the Thanksgiving Day weather, the new balloon will see Greg clumsily taking a tumble down the route with his arm outstretched to break his fall, surely having slipped on an icy surface because he had his nose buried in his “Diary”…oops, journal! Commenting on the colorful and energetic new balloon design Jeff Kinney, author and illustrator said, “As a creator, this will be a huge day because I started with a pencil sketch and we tried lots of different ideas. For the new balloon, we wanted to do something really different and dramatic.

The vibrant new take on this classic Parade balloon star measures, 62-feet long, 32-feet wide and is 62-feet tall, a balloon behemoth sure to delight millions of fans. Kinney added, “It’s extremely exhilarating to see it come to life.” The original balloon, modeled after the black and white version of Greg, debuted in the Macy’s Parade in 2010 and flew until last year.

Celebrating the upcoming release of Double Down, the multiple-award winning Diary of A Wimpy Kid series continues to conquer the publishing world. In addition to the books, Greg stars in his own live action film series with the fourth 20th Century Fox movie “Diary of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” currently in production and set for a May 2017 theatrical release. Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Double Down, the eleventh book in the series, is set for domestic release by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS The Art of Books, as well as worldwide publication on Nov. 1, and will see author Jeff Kinney embark on a global tour to meet tens of thousands of fans at 20 stops in three continents.90th_parade-1

The 90th Anniversary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs nationwide on NBC-TV, on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016 from 9 a.m. – noon in all time zones. For more information on the Macy’s Parade please visit www.macys.com/parade or call the Parade hotline at (212) 494-4495.

National Museum of American History To Examine Religion in America

New Curatorial Position, Exhibition and Programs To Focus on Religious History

The role of religion in the formation and development of the United States is at the heart of a new multi-year initiative launching at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History November 5. Beginning with a program series on sacred music in American life, this comprehensive religion initiative will be led by Peter Manseau who has been named the museum’s Lilly Endowment Curator of American Religious History. It will include collecting, researching, documenting and exhibiting materials as well as presenting programs reflective of the country’s diverse religious traditions.

Lilly Endowment Curator of American Religious History

An author and historian, Peter Manseau earned his doctorate in religion from Georgetown University. His books include One Nation, Under Gods, a history of religious diversity in America; Vows, a memoir chronicling 20th-century Catholicism in the U.S.; the National Jewish Book Award-winning novel, Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter; and the travelogue Rag and Bone, which examines the use of relics in Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. He is the author of the upcoming companion book to the museum’s religion exhibition, Objects of Devotion, which will be published in spring 2017.

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Logo. (PRNewsFoto/SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY)

The exhibition “Religion in Early America” which will open June 28, 2017, will focus on the themes of religious diversity, freedom and growth as it explores the role of religion in America from the colonial era thorough the 1840s. Some of the featured artifacts will be national treasures from the museum’s own collection, including George Washington’s christening robe from 1732, Thomas Jefferson’s The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, which is also known as “The Jefferson Bible,” Wampum beads and the cloak worn by abolitionist Quaker minister Lucretia Mott. Other objects will be on loan from other museums, institutions and private individuals from across the nation. Among these are Massachusetts Bay Colony-founder John Winthrop’s communion cup, circa 1630; a Torah scroll on loan from New York’s Congregation Shearith Israel, founded in 1654; a chalice used by John Carroll, the first Roman Catholic bishop in the U.S. and founder of Georgetown University; and a first edition of the Book of Mormon. The objects will represent the diverse range of Christian, Native American and African traditions as well as Mormonism, Islam and Judaism that wove through American life during this era. Continue reading