Each year, Coach assembles some of the most eclectic and dazzling casts for Pride Month. It's also one of the few brands to consistently work with members of the ballroom community, including host Jack Mizrahi and iconic voguer Sinia Alaia.
The latter made an introduction to her daughter, The Icon Meeka “Queen Mother Alpha Omega," who ended up making her Coach campaign debut alongside Saucy Santana, Benito Skinner, Joel Kim Booster and Linux.
"I liked how intentional they were being with the campaign," she tells PAPER. "It's definitely an opportunity to give back and show that they're in solidarity with community, especially at the time that we're in politically. I think it's really important for allies to be visible and to kind of really show their support in a very meaningful way, which I think that Coach is actually doing with this campaign and has been doing with the previous campaigns as well."
The festivities kicked off on June 1st with a celebration at piano bar and nightclub The Monster, an iconic West Village institution across from the Stonewall Inn, which brought out all the nightlife fixtures, drag queens, muscle daddies and LGBTQ icons for one night.
"I grew up in the inner city, very poor," Meeka says. "I came to The Village, Christopher Street, when I was maybe like 16, 15 years old. And so places like The Monster and Stonewall and a place called Two Potato were pretty much the places that most of us who no longer had those community centers went to share space and kind of just be ourselves and kind of be desired."
This year, Meeka's house, the House of Alpha Omega, will take part in the official Pride Parade, as well as other events they'll participate in as a family. It's a fairly new house, having been around for a little over a year, but consists of various senior and legacy members. (Meeka first joined ballroom in 1996.)
"I started out walking many different categories," she says. "Performance though, is the one that I'm definitely known for and I'm an icon in the scene right now. Currently I am the Queen Mother of the House of Alpha Omega so that means that there's no higher place to go, but it's also a way of honoring black trans femmes, within the scene, as black trans femmes are responsible for creating ballroom and so it's a way of kind of just showing support in solidarity for that tradition."
This article is a sponsored collaboration between Coach and PAPER
Photography: Hunter Abrams/BFA
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