After a screening of Mendes’ new short film Girl’s Best Friend, the actress and designer celebrated the launch of her Fall and Holiday 2018 collections with a runway show featuring diverse models in an array of bold-printed pieces.
“This was just a really special evening to celebrate the five years that we have under our belt together. This is a real partnership, it is a real collaboration and I am so grateful,” Mendes, 44, told PEOPLE.
She added, “A lot of times you go into business with a company or someone, and you feel like your ideas aren’t valued. You feel like it is not a real partnership at some point, but this has been a true collaboration. So to celebrate tonight is something so special. Having the show, being here in L.A., the short film… it’s just been emotional.”
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The entire line, which is already available for purchase at New York & Company's website, was inspired by ’70s style and features a muted color palette, wide leg pants, flared skirts and form-fitting silhouettes.
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After the runway presentation, Mendes took the stage with a rescue husky and revealed that each member of the audience would have a donation made on their behalf to the Cesar Millan PACK Project.
The animal-loving star also opened up to us about her love for her four-legged friends. “You know what? The love that you have for your dog, and how you are with your dog, I think is really similar to how you are with your children,” Mendes laughed. “[My late dogs] prepped me for motherhood!”
- with reporting by REAGAN ALEXANDER