With a name perhaps more fit for a sitcom than a handbag line, George Gina & Lucy is making its way to the U.S. after rapid growth in Europe.
The Frankfurt, Germany-based firm — founded in 2004 by Nicolas Neuhaus, his wife, Nicole Bailly, and longtime friend Oliver Bruhn — is relatively unknown in the U.S., but in four years has zoomed to a $110 million company at wholesale, selling over 750,000 bags throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The bags have spawned a strong following, with fans blogging on the Internet over the latest colors and styles.
“We don’t really know why there’s so much buzz about us,” said Neuhaus. “Each person names something different they love about the bags. So for someone, it’s color, for others, it’s price point. It’s always something different for each person. Even for us, it’s a mystery.”
While Neuhaus declined to explain the story, if any, behind the label’s name, bloggers on Facebook and German shopping Web sites have created theories for its origin. One idea is that George, Gina and Lucy are really American prison inmates who sew the bags, while another notion is that the name comes from a Los Angeles-based love triangle. Still some think the names mean nothing at all and the title is just a ploy to keep people guessing.
“I’d really rather not say where the name comes from because we like that people are talking about us and care enough to discuss how they think the name originated,” said Neuhaus. “As long as people are talking, that’s a good thing.”
Retailing from $100 to $500, George Gina & Lucy handbags consist mainly of nylon and canvas totes and travel bags in an array of color combinations. The 33 styles include names such as Almost Saturday, Doyourthing and Day Dream, and are available at Les Galeries Lafayette in Paris, as well as smaller stores internationally. So far, U.S. distribution includes select Nordstrom stores and Fred Segal in Los Angeles, but Neuhaus expects to open freestanding retail locations throughout the U.S. and Europe in the next five years.
“Los Angeles and New York are…the most attractive cities for us to place George, Gina & Lucy, since they reflect the lifestyle we are incorporating in our collection,” said Neuhaus. “But on the other side, we love America and its people in general, and hope that we will soon sell our bags all over America.”
The firm is confident the bags will fare well in the U.S., given their affordable price points, although Neuhaus said he is toying with launching an exotic skin collection after touring some Italian tanneries that have offered to work with him.
George Gina & Lucy also produces sunglasses in-house and is eyeing a fragrance license in the coming months.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye