Handbag and lifestyle brand Edie Parker has opened a 1,000-square-foot store located at 781 Madison Avenue, near 66th Street. In addition to Parker’s signature acrylic clutches, the store features suede handbags, wicker basket bags and the brand’s lifestyle collection of home products.
Brett Heyman, who founded Edie Parker in 2010, had an affinity for midcentury style and collected vintage handbags from the Fifties and Sixties from the time she was a little girl. She said was inspired to start the company when she could no longer find the clutches in vintage and second-hand stores. At the time, Heyman was working in the public relations department at Gucci and pregnant with her first child, a girl, whom she named Edie.
“I realized that nobody was focusing on evening as a category,” Heyman said. “I wanted to do something fashion-forward and irreverent. People collect the clutches and get them personalized to mark milestones.”
Bespoke products, which launched in 2012, account for 25 percent of Edie Parker’s business. There are more than a dozen color choices for the Flavia clutch, for example, including red, ocean, orange, green, nude and steel pearlescent; silver and gold confetti; glow in the dark, and smoke gray, bubblegum pink and cornflower blue. Shoppers can choose the shape, background color, text color and hardware. Lettering is available in cursive and print, and shadow lettering can be used. The Flavia, with double-sided text and shadow lettering, is $2,195. Prices for the clutches start at $795, with most selling in the $995 to $1,485 range.
“People say all kinds of things on their bags,” Heyman said. “We’ve had ‘Divorced,’ phone numbers and nicknames. Bridal is a big market for customization. Brides put their married names in gold or silver confetti on the clutches. They’ll also do Mrs., Wifey and Mama.”
Rebel Wilson carried an Edie Parker clutch that read “Rebel Rebel” to an event. Irreverent terms such as #IDGAF and LSD adorn clutches in the store.
“We pour flat sheets of acrylic that are cut on wood forms,” Heyman said. “It’s unlike less-expensive methods such as injection molds. Acrylic is a luxury material. It takes about two days to create a clutch.”
New designs feature a cherry motif in red and green pearlescent on white, $1,495; obsidian sand clutch with glow in the dark solar system, $1,395, and blush clutch decorated with a dragonfly, watermelon and strawberry, $1,295.
Edie Parker’s home collection bowed in May of 2016 and includes striped trays, $495 to $595; coaster sets, $165 to $225; vanity trays, $295 to $395; place mats, $195, and jewelry boxes, with the word “Jewels,” $895. There’s also card cases, cell phone cases and hand-stitched napkins. Heyman plans to introduce jewelry this summer and after that, eyewear. She said she hasn’t exhausted the possibilities for handbags. “We haven’t even scratched the surface,” she explained.
Handbags made of soft materials such as suede were a departure for Heyman. The Ace model, which comes in black, gray and moss, has marbled acrylic top handles and a detachable leather strap, $1,295. The Lily woven straw handbag is available with a leather drawstring top, $1,494, or suede, gingham and floral tops, $995.
Heyman describes the store as “Gio Ponti meets Gloria Vanderbilt,” referring to the cool modernism of the former, and whimsical, artfully mismatched style of the latter.
Designed by Studio Muretto, the store has dip-dyed wood panels lining the walls, Paul McCobb chairs covered in Pierre Frey’s Arlequins fabric, mushroom lamps, Danube marble floors and tables made from pieces of acrylic and edged in brass. Two photos of Edie Sedgwick, the troubled socialite and Andy Warhol model hang opposite Pop artist Alex Israel’s self-portrait. A life-size ostrich sourced from a prop supply house inhabits the window surrounded by dangling golden eggs. “Her name is Feather Locklear,” Heyman quipped.