Outerwear and nights on the town don't always mix well: As soon as you're in a crowded bar, concert, or restaurant, that topper becomes an utter pain in the ass to schlep around, particularly in the transitional temps of spring and fall. You could wait on a coat check line, if there is one, that's already dauntingly long (or very well could be later). Or, try to shove it into your bag, Mary Poppins style; or, attempt to hide it in a shadowy corner so stealthy that it won't get stolen or spilled on. (Another, less comfortable option is to skip the jacket entirely.) But what if you could skip all of the above annoyances? Two FIT students tackled that conundrum — and came up with a solution to our perpetual coat-tracking woes.
Covert was started by fashion school classmates and friends Gracie Tirro and Morgan Schlaugies. The duo got fed up with holding their jackets at bars and music venues, and didn't have the patience for coat check queues, which catalyzed the concept of a particularly self-sufficient layering piece. "I wanted to find a solution to avoid this happening so I thought, what if my jacket could just fold into a bag?" Schlaugies told us of the idea's impetus. Thus, the Morgan Rae jacket was born: It's a faux leather moto that essentially folds into itself to become a drawstring, mid-sized purse, so you can literally tote around your coat in disguise.
Or, just use it as a bag: The jacket is constructed of vegan leather with thermal sleeves, which are easier to clean, can be rolled up in warmer temps, and "keep the jacket as lightweight as possible once converted to a bag," Tirro explained, So, there's still plenty of room to cram stuff in when it's in bag form; plus, a zippered pocket on the jacket's exterior becomes an interior bag pocket for stowing your wallet and keys. In jacket form, it's definitely not as tough-edged and substantial a topper as your go-to moto, but it certainly delivers on the practicality front (and makes for a brilliant travel piece). The twosome considered using a wrinkle-resistant leather option, but thought vegan leather would hold more appeal, as well as allowing for a lower price point.
As for the duo's backgrounds, Tirro studied fashion merchandising and entrepreneurship at FIT, and worked at BCBG Max Azria and Nine West before Covert launched; she now handles business matters for the startup. Schlaugies focused on home textiles and surface design (this is her first fashion endeavor) and heads up Covert’s creative direction.
The 2-in-1 piece just launched last week, and is available on Covert's site for $175. While it's exclusively a direct-to-consumer item for now, Tirro and Schlaugies eventually would love to see it carried in brick-and-mortar stores: "t's a fun product to see online, but to actually witness and experience the conversion in person and see the quality of the jacket really helps reaffirm to the customer what a great item it truly is," Tirro said. The next Covert product will be a bomber-style version for men, followed by other, yet-to-be-determined convertible items.