Venezuelan accessories designer Yliana Yepez used something she knows a lot about to raise awareness for the escalating violence in her home country — the handbag.
The former model launched Blues by KyKy in 1993, a contemporary handbag line that grew into a retail business in South America as well as in New York. Troubled by increasing unrest, violence and danger in Venezuela, she relocated with her family to New York in 2009 and finally shuttered Blues by KyKy in late 2012 while simultaneously launching a namesake brand.
With her new venture, she launched a more luxe, upscale line that would translate better for the New York market. It started to hit retail last August and is now carried in a number of Bloomingdale’s doors as well as Prologue Lifestyle in Toronto.
While the designer has been happily adjusting to life with her family in New York, the issues facing her fellow countrymen back in Venezuela continue to concern her. She heard about a new wave of violence and severe protests there over food shortages, the declining health care system and inflation in mid-February. She was in the midst of fashion week festivities, but felt conflicted that no one around her knew what was happening in her country. So she decided to design one of her signature Mini Giovanna bags in the colors of the Venezuelan flag — yellow with red and blue accents — to call attention to the political turmoil.
She started Instagramming the bag to get the attention of the industry. The designer plans to donate all proceeds of the sale of the bag to Fundación Sanando, a nonprofit organization that distributes medical supplies and addresses issues concerning health care. The Mini Giovanna Venezuela will retail for $695 at ylianayepez.com.
Her collection, all handmade in Italy, consists of totes, clutches, cross-body bags and large and mini backpacks. Most recently, Yliana launched minaudières called Grace in eight satin hues — red, teal, navy, gray, Champagne, black, wine and amethyst — black python-embossed leather and metallic python, all framed with 64 Swarovski crystals. The satin clutch retails for $1,250, the embossed python for $995 and the python clutch for $1,650.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)