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Bag Snob Duo to Launch Own Line

Tina Craig and Kelly Cook have signed Beanstalk Group as the licensing agent for a new label called Snob Essentials.

DALLAS — Hoping to vault from the blogosphere into a lifestyle brand, Bag Snob partners Tina Craig and Kelly Cook have signed Beanstalk Group as the licensing agent for a new label called Snob Essentials.

Beanstalk is shopping for a contemporary handbag manufacturer to be its first licensee, aiming to unveil the line by spring 2014.

“The digital space is the next frontier of new products and celebrity status,” said Michael Stone, Beanstalk chief executive officer and cofounder, who approached the bloggers about the deal. “We feel Tina and Kelly and the Bag Snob brand have already started to transition to true brand status. They have relationships with major retailers and have done product concepts with DL1961 and DKNY. We think they have tremendous potential.”

The Taiwan-born, American-educated Craig and Kelly collaborated with DL1961 last fall to design seven styles of jeans and created five Bag Snob X DKNY bags in 2011.

“We are asked on a monthly basis, maybe weekly, to do collaborations with different brands we love, but we decided to focus on our own brand,” explained Craig, who is the brand’s public persona while Cook focuses on business and administration. “My dream is that Snob Essentials will eventually include ready-to-wear, beauty, jewelry — the whole lifestyle. We will have full creative control.”

The brand will offer “ageless essentials that we think you need and very specific,” Craig said.

“We want that girl who wants to be updated every season without looking too trendy, too old or too young,” she explained. “It will always be essentials, the travel jean, the travel outfit, the travel shoe. I feel like that’s missing. People walk into a great store like Neiman Marcus or Forty Five Ten and there are so many things and it’s like, do I want to grab that or will that be in next season? We want to take all that out of the equation so when you come to our brand you know you will find stuff that you will be able to continue to wear with your high-end pieces or your Zara or Target.”

The initial offering will be leather handbags retailing from $250 to $400 and intended for broad distribution to department stores, Stone said.

“We’re looking into the opportunity for a couple high-end sku’s for editorial purposes, and then down the line extending the handbags into alternative materials like vegan leather, putting out a great product at an even more affordable price point,” explained Rachel Terrace, Beanstalk vice president of brand management.

“We’ll start in handbags, denim, sportswear, footwear and potentially move into other categories that they love, like beauty and home,” Stone added. “Tina is a dynamo and if anyone can do it she can. If we pull this off it will be the first time a blog made the transition to lifestyle brand at retail. What is compelling is they have proven they are influencers and tastemakers followed by consumers of all swatches. When they make an appearance for another brand, they sell, so it’s time for them to start doing that for their own brand.”

To support it, Craig and Cook are aggregating all traffic for their six Snob blogs — Bag, Beauty, Couture, Jewel, Shoe and Tot — under SnobEssentials.com, a newly designed URL expected to debut by month’s end. At the same time, the pair plan to add Snob “micro-blogs” covering decor, design, food and travel.

Grouping them all under one umbrella “makes a lot more sense for advertisers and for us too,” Craig noted. “One of our goals is to eventually offer e-commerce on Snob Essentials, not only of our own brand but multibrands at different price points — anything we deem Snob-worthy —whether it’s a $50 top or a $20,000 bag.”