Jonathan Adler’s burgeoning home decor business is expanding into women’s handbags and accessories this spring. The boldly patterned totes and clutches hit Adler’s e-commerce site and 16 freestanding stores this month. In April, the designs will be available via Shopbop.com and Neiman Marcus Direct.
“We’ve always had a lot of fashion customers come into my stores and say that a pillow or vase design would make a great accessory,” said Adler on the phone from Madrid, where he received an award from Architectural Digest España on Thursday.
For spring, the assortment includes canvas tote bags with rope handles that retail for $250, tote bags in coated canvas or jute with leather trim that retail for $178 to $198 and zippered jute clutches for $38.
The fall line adds a more substantial handbag style in chainstitch wool/cotton with leather handles and side pockets that retails for $495. Lively motifs adorn the collection throughout, such as snakes, pinwheels and geometric patterns. Smaller pouches and cardholders fashioned from PVC are decorated with icons like scooters and sailboats or words such as “Lust,” “Peace” and “Sparkle” in vintage fonts.
This launch is the second time Adler has tried his hand at bags. A short-lived license in the category was yanked a number of years ago.
“The first time I took a crack at it, I felt the bags were beautiful, but they were a bit too formal and too pricy,” said Adler, who is producing these new bags in-house. “My customer is a little bit more bohemian and eccentric.”
Adler recently made another foray into the fashion space with a men’s neckwear line, licensed to Randa Accessories, which will be in stores this summer.
Adler currently has 10 license partners, with lighting, electronic accessories and stationery being the largest categories. The company plans to open two stores in the second quarter of this year in Minneapolis and Dallas, with another four to six doors slated for later in the year.
In March, Adler will launch the handbag line with a party at the home he shares with his husband, Simon Doonan, the author and Barneys New York creative ambassador-at-large.
“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
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast