Lil Nas X Breaks Barriers in Coach’s ‘Courage to Be Real’ Campaign: Watch

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Lil Nas X is breaking barriers in his very first Coach Campaign as global ambassador of the fashion brand. The Courage to Be Real” campaign, released Tuesday (Oct. 4), features Lil Nas X’s “Star Walkin’” single and encourages “courageous self-expression.”

The campaign, whose mission is to motivate people to embrace all aspects of themselves with confidence and authenticity, finds Lil Nas X traveling back to his past.

“It’s really beautiful and it really symbolizes my story and my life of going through and breaking down doors and barriers,” Lil Nas X shared with Billboard during a Zoom interview last week.

Petra Collins directed the photo campaign and accompanying short film, which represents Lil Nas X overcoming obstacles and harnessing the inner-courage that helped him become a superstar.  

From the suburbs of Atlanta to the stage, Lil Nas X walks through different rooms illustrating moments from his past and some of the struggles that he has faced over the years.

“I have done a lot of skating, and by that I just mean, when I find myself in a position [where] I’m really afraid to do something I say, ‘OK, maybe I should do this,’ because if I don’t, I’ll be thinking, ‘Maybe I should have done this’ when I could have just ripped the Band-Aid off,” he shared of moving beyond obstacles like fear and self-doubt. “I feel like that has helped me accelerate and move along a lot quicker than I would have in a lot of different situations.”

“I wouldn’t say I am a perfectionist,” he continued. “I would say I’m more of an ‘intuitionist.’ If I know something isn’t to the best it can be, or to somewhere where I wouldn’t want the world to hear it, I’m not going to put it out. Being a perfectionist is a lot of work!”  

The Atlanta native, along with his stylist, Hodo Musa, and Coach creative director Stuart Vevers worked closely to put together looks for the campaign, which Nas X calls “the most in-depth fashion collaboration” of his career. For his part, Vevers noted that he was “thrilled” to bring the “vision to life.”

Some of Lil Nas X’s favorite looks from the campaign include the red plaid outfit worn in a hotel scene and the showstopping purple fur coat and matching suit, which he sports with a Pillow Tabby shoulder bag in stills from the campaign. “That was really stinkin’ cute! I actually can’t wait for those pieces to come out.”

Lil Nas X Coach Courage 2 B Real Campaign Purple Coat
Lil Nas X Coach Courage to Be Real Campaign
Lil Nas X Coach Campaign
Lil Nas X Courage to Be Real Campaign
Lil Nas X Coach Campaign Red Plaid
Lil Nas X Coach Courage to Be Real Campaign

When it comes to fashion, Lil Nas X doesn’t mind taking risks. In fact, he’s been known to set trends (some might even say that he was one of the first celebs to rock a monochromatic, bright-pink ensemble two years before it became known as “Barbiecore”). Whether he’s dressed up or dressed down, Lil Nas X’s avant-garde and sometimes gender-bending wardrobe turns heads on the red carpet and the stage. But working with Coach is an opportunity to switch up his style game.

“I feel like for one, my style is usually very bold, bright and out there and I feel like collaborating with Coach is going to bring something new to my entire vibe, style-wise.”

Coach also designed the wardrobe for Lil Nas X’s Montero Tour. Featured among the custom looks are a glittery pink football uniform and gilded gladiator suit.

“I love when we go into the renaissance era look,” Lil Nas X said of some of his favorite tour outfits. “I also loved the bedazzled pink jeweled ‘Industry Baby’ look in the all-pink turn around in the show.”  

As for the best part of being on tour? “A lot of cute guys, which is great, I’m happy about that,” he said before adding, “It’s also great to see actual people and not just a number of screens. Seeing them in person is really crazy and seeing some of my fans that I have talked to for years that are like ‘Oh my God you’re a person! Come give me a hug!’ I don’t think I have found any downsides of tour, this is probably the most fun era of my life.”

Watch Lil Nas X in Coach’s “Courage to Be Real” campaign below.

Latifah Muhammad