Handbag designer Joanna Maxham — whose namesake brand has grown nearly 300 percent in the last two years — appears to have successfully charted a trajectory from the corporate world to the creative one.The Connecticut-based designer’s collection of streamlined leather bags is presently sold in over 50 stores in the U.S., with additional distribution arms in Asia and Europe.An alumni of IBM’s marketing department, Maxham decided a career change was in order “three to four years into my career, when I realized I wasn’t doing what I was meant to do. My creative interests came back — I took drawing classes and found more of my calling,” she told WWD.When her husband was assigned a job posting in various countries in Europe, eventually including Maxham's native Poland, she used her family’s relocation as an opportunity to train under an Italian leather-goods manufacturer.It was then that she “noticed a space in the market for handbags that were more minimalist and really good quality, but at a price that is still affordable."“I realized that anything I liked was in the range of $2,000 to $3,000, and what my friends could afford in terms of the quality and styling was not what I was comfortable with.”She launched an initial run of handbags in 2011, but in 2014 ramped up the business with outside investment from a private investor and a sales director. Retailers now include Anthropologie’s Web site, United Arrows and Takashimaya. Bags are priced from $265 to $850.The line is manufactured in Maxham’s native Poland, fabricated from leathers sourced in Italy, France and Spain. Accent hardware is sourced in Italy, Spain, France and Japan.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion