Peter and Joy Gryson are aiming to be major contenders in the accessories licensing arena.
The husband-and-wife manufacturing and design team who have created handbags for the likes of MCM under the umbrella of their company, Tribeca Design, has launched Tribeca Affiliated Brands, a firm geared toward licensing and sales.
The company will design, manufacture and distribute handbags and accessories. It will incorporate the duo’s house brands, including Gryson, the designer line that sells at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman, and Olivia Harris, the contemporary bag line that sells at stores such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Holt Renfrew, Intermix and Scoop. Tribeca Affiliated Brands has plans to operate in categories such as underwear, loungewear, swimwear, shoes, hats and other accessories.
Tribeca Affiliated Brands’ first licensing agreement is with Nanette Lepore for handbags. The firm has collaborated with Lepore on creating a line of flirty-meets-urban pochettes, totes and clutches, with details such as colored chain mail, worn-in-looking washed leathers and lace-inspired, laser-cut leathers. Lepore’s handbags, in addition to Gryson and Olivia Harris’ fall collections, will bow today at the firm’s Varick Street showroom in Manhattan.
“We are, and always will be, about product first,” said Peter Gryson, president and co-chief executive officer of Tribeca Affiliated Brands, who has had a long career in fashion with stints working as vice president of Calvin Klein at Warnaco, where he met Joy, and as president of Cipriani, an accessories licensing firm. “The new company will allow for us to have a more direct line of communication with our customers and easier access to our own product. We now have our design studio, showroom and production representatives all in the same space, and our public relations firm is on the floor above us in the same building.”
To facilitate growth, Gryson appointed several new staffers, including a vice president of operations and head of sales. The firm also has a design studio in Italy.
Gryson said the firm would limit the number of licenses it takes on. Joy Gryson, co-ceo and creative director, is leading the design of all lines.
“It allows me to see creative opportunity from different perspectives all the time,” she said of working on the different brands, from mass level goods under the private label business, Tribeca Design, to designing Lepore’s line. “A design may resonate with me very differently than it does with one of our clients, or licenses, but that forces me to keep a very fresh perspective and an open mind creatively.”
She added there are plans to extend into additional product categories for the Gryson brand, which has bags and shoes, and Olivia Harris, which has been selling well with retail prices at less than $600.
Lepore said, “This collaboration has been so amazing. She’s been able to have the use of color that I’m known for, but they are still urban.”
Heather Pech, ceo of Lepore, said launching handbags is a surefire way to expand Lepore’s lifestyle repertoire. The company also recently launched footwear.
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