Coachella festival’s fashion influence is everywhere

Is Coachella the biggest gift to the fashion industry since Kate Middleton?

It certainly seems like it from the marketing blitz that has blown up around the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which wraps up a two-weekend run Sunday in Indio.

We all know that brands have been flocking to the festival for years, hoping to make an impression on tastemakers who attend by hosting star-studded parties at nearby venues. This year, Old Navy, Lacoste, H&M, Teva, Adidas Originals, Guess and Opening Ceremony are just a few of the names that hopped on the Coachella branding bandwagon.

Among the magazines that hosted bashes were Harper’s Bazaar, Nylon, Filter, Flaunt and Details, so they could shoot photos of well-dressed guests and have Coachella content for their pages.


And in a truly funny twist, which really made me question whether Coachella is a music festival or just a gigantic fashion photo shoot, Sephora had nine beauty stations on the grounds for guests to get desert touch-ups.

But the blitz was not limited to the festival itself. In fashion marketing speak, “Coachella” has become more than an event; it’s a state of mind, like so many other mythical SoCal locales, including Malibu and Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice.

Coachella signifies to the world a carefree, boho lifestyle — spring break for people with lots of disposable income.

That’s why online retailers and fashion magazines have been e-blasting celebrity-curated “Coachella must-haves” and “Coachella packing lists,” full of springy merchandise designed to appeal to people who didn’t even attend.

Local boutiques hoisted signs promoting themselves as “Coachella Headquarters” (Flower crowns! Maxi-dresses! Crop tops!) There were even Coachella diets, naturally.

The party wasn’t confined to Indio, either. Someone has named the event-heavy week in L.A. between the two weekends of the music festival “Midchella.”

Jimmy Choo, Puma and Levi’s all hosted events in L.A. this week. And the festival fashion carried over to the red carpet at the Choo.08 celebration in Beverly Hills and even the MTV Movie Awards, where a rainbow-hued, Chanel-dressed Lupita Nyong’o mugged for cameras with Jared Leto, who was dressed in a spring break-appropriate palm tree print shirt and straw hat.

Here, a few of our favorite looks from the festival grounds and beyond.