'Riverdale' 's'' Charles Melton on His First NYFW, Embracing 'Eclectic' Clothes and Loving a 'Murse'

Melton joined Megan Thee Stallion, Angus Cloud, Tommy Dorfman and more of the industry's biggest rising stars front row at the Coach fashion show

Fall 2022 Coach Runway Show
Photo: Billy Farrell/BFA.com

Something feels different this New York Fashion Week. Sure socialites are still clacking down the sidewalks in unseasonal heels, and Uber prices continue to surge, but the overall feeling at the shows is decidedly different. Institutional fashion houses like Coach are looking to laid-back creatives (with large audiences on social media) to rep their luxury leather goods — creatives like actor Charles Melton.

You might know Melton as Reggie on the hit teen drama Riverdale, or as that hot guy with chiseled cheekbones and 6.2 million followers on Instagram. The fashion world — including the deeply established American heritage brand Coach — know him as an up-and-comer in the style space who's not afraid to play with proportion or carry a handbag.

Fall 2022 Coach Runway Show
Tommy Dorfman, Rina Sawayama, Angus Cloud, Megan Thee Stallion, Rickey Thompson, Charles Melton, Kelvin Harrison Jr. sitting front row at Coach Fall 2022. Billy Farrell/BFA.com

We sat down with Melton backstage at the Coach show during New York Fashion Week ⁠— where he joined fellow industry tastemakers Tommy Dorfman, Rina Sawayama, Angus Cloud, Megan Thee Stallion, Rickey Thompson and Kelvin Harrison Jr. to watch Stuart Vevers' fall 2022 collection, titled "Somewhere in America," hit the catwalk.

Coach's latest capsule brings to life Vevers' "vision of American heritage, reenergized with the optimism and attitude of the next generation."

Below, our conversation with Melton on his connection to Coach, his first time at fashion week and taking style risks.

PEOPLE: How is your first day of fashion week going?

Charles Melton: It's gone pretty well. I mean, I think this is my first fashion show in New York.

P: And how do you feel about Coach, what does the brand mean to you?

CM: Coach is an iconic brand. It's been around for so long. And there's a lot of cool people here. It feels like family.

P: Can you tell me a little bit about your outfit today?

CM: Ah, well, I got these really cool '90s baggy jeans that I really like. I kind of like the baggy retro 90s vibe, and I went with the orange jacket. It's very sunny. It's like the sunset — orange colors and fruit punch red.

P: Why the obsession with baggy clothes?

CM: It's just easy to move. Like, just in case I'm on the run, I can break out into a full-out sprint. Or if I'm being chased by like a dinosaur or something like that. You never know.

P: Who's your style inspiration right now?

CM: I really love Japanese fashion and Korean fashion, and incorporating kind of very clean, chic kind of pieces to my stuff.

P: What's a mistake that you've made in fashion that you wouldn't do again?

CM: I think maybe some people might think I made mistakes, but I don't — no fashion regrets. It's pretty eclectic, but I stand by it all. Because what's important is just to really understand how I feel when I wear something. Just knowing the backstory behind the quality and how it's made. I love good quality. And I know what I like.

P: What would you wear on a date? What would be your go-to night-out fit'?

CM: I think just a simple shirt. Maybe a tank top. Baggy. I have like these Japanese baggy blue jeans. And maybe some Jordans — some ones'. And then a nice little jacket, a simple little baggy jacket.

P: How do you feel about the male purse?

CM: I've been rocking the 'murse' for a long time. I think it's really great. Because I mean, I carry a lot of things, and sometimes they're falling out of my pockets — like my keys, my phone, my gum, my hand sanitizer. It's just good to have a purse. It's a universal thing. I own a couple of Fanny packs, too. You know, the rock started that back in the 80s when he wore his black fanny pack. Him and all my uncles in Korea.

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