Kotur, a Hong Kong-based handbag brand that has doubled sales each year since launching in 2006, is expanding distribution into Asia and the Middle East and deepening its foothold in Europe.
The company founded by designer Fiona Kotur also has increased the number of styles in its line. The U.S. is the brand's largest market, which has distribution in 250 doors worldwide, including Neiman Marcus and Scoop.
Kotur had $5 million in wholesale sales in 2007, industry sources said. The firm wants to double sales this year.
The fall collection is the largest to date with 300 styles, including a chain maille bag entwined with crystals and a group of patchwork leather bags inspired by artist Sonya Delaunay.
This year, Kotur plans to further develop the international business after entering Europe last year. The brand is sold at Harvey Nichols and Harrods in London, and has partnered with the Winwood Italia showroom in Milan.
Kotur, a New York native who moved to Hong Kong in 2002, has a background in accessories and fashion. She was a stylist and later an accessories designer at Ralph Lauren, helped launch Old Navy accessories in 1996 and in 2004 helped her friend Tory Burch set up the infrastructure for Burch's contemporary line.
"I love starting businesses; I love the creative challenge," she said.
Kotur's bags have a luxury feel, but the designer isn't limited by price. Retail prices range from $300 for an embellished straw satchel to $4,000 for an exotic skin day bag.
"I'm not really about trend or price point," Kotur said. "If a customer likes it, they'll buy it."
Because of the wide price range, Kotur bags are sometimes merchandised in the contemporary area of a store and sometimes on the main floor.
"We've done very well with the clutches" with their "unique styling and color," said Sandra Wilson, accessories fashion director for Neiman Marcus. "One of the reasons why I think we do well [with Kotur] is that they offer great trend choices for well-priced exotics and cross different age categories."
“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
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