On the brink of its fifth anniversary, A.L.C. is returning to the accessories arena with a line of handbags due out in early 2014.
“It feels like we planted the seed and our roots have grown,” founder Andrea Lieberman said. “It felt like the perfect brand extension. I work with leather all the time, and I love a handbag. I carry stuff everywhere. I understand all the different roles that bags play in the life of a woman. There’s a true sense of functionality that needs to be addressed, and I’m doing it the A.L.C. way.”
Previously, the ready-to-wear brand briefly offered jewelry, but it has since put the project on hiatus.
For the spring debut, six styles will be offered, ranging from the Lucas, a roomy duffel bag, to Saville, a compact zip clutch.
Keeping in line with the rtw designs, the collection is in a narrow range of shades. Black and white leather and leopard print are staples, with accents of navy and gray.
“I want to keep it focused right off the gate,” Lieberman said of the limited color palette. “At the end of the day, the majority of our [rtw] collection is navy, black, white. And we always embrace a little bit of leopard. I love a leopard bag — always.”
In addition to the leopard print, done in Italian pony hair, Lieberman uses a variety of European leather. The bags are currently produced in China, but the designer hopes that this will change as the project evolves.
“It’s a whole new arena with bags,” she said. “I’m growing and learning from it. Now, after going through this season and doing things overseas, I’d like to have [production] a little bit closer.”
Prices start at $445 for the Paloma cross-body in Spanish sheep leather and rise to $1,095 for a Lucas duffel in printed haircalf. The bags will be sold at Barneys, Intermix and Shopbop, as well as select specialty boutiques, beginning in early February.
Though Lieberman still has a few months until the collection hits the shelves, the designer has admittedly caught accessories fever, spending her limited off time tinkering with existing shapes for the fall collection and contemplating her next move.
“I’m an epic shoe fanatic,” she said. “There is no set moment, but we would embrace shoes with epic passion. Shoes are a completely different development, though. At the end of the day, I thought it was right for me to start with handbags.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast