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Joy Gryson Launches Handbag Line With MCM

The handbag designer is expanding her résumé by designing a collection for MCM.

Coco Rocha with a piece from the new MCM New York collection, designed by Joy Gryson

Joy Gryson has added yet another gig to her résumé: the bag designer who oversees her namesake collection, a diffusion line known as Olivia Harris and a design studio alongside her husband, Peter Gryson, is launching a line of bags with MCM.

This story first appeared in the August 26, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The collection, called MCM New York, marks a departure for the company, which was founded in 1976 and whose initials stand for Mode Creation Munich. Sleek and urban, the Gryson-designed line is comprised of three groups ­— the Sportivo, Notte and Giorno — each of which emphasizes detailing such as chains and pleating. The concept is that edgier construction — angular silhouettes in snakeskin and python — will lure a city-savvy shopper.

In recent years, MCM has undergone several reinventions, although this is the first high-profile collaboration for the company.

The line will be sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue and the MCM Plaza boutique in New York at the end of August.

“It’s wonderful that MCM has a long history, so it was important to look back into MCM’s archives and tap into their travel heritage and aesthetic, to revitalize it and offer a modern interpretation,” said Gryson, who calls the revised look “somewhat of a Neoclassic aesthetic” and noted the collaboration is ongoing, with plans for a holiday and spring 2010 line.

The bags, which will retail between $695 and $2,800 (the latter price is for the exotic skins bags) are also the centerpiece of an ad campaign the company has launched featuring Coco Rocha at the Standard Hotel in New York’s Meatpacking District, photographed by Cheol Park and styled by Vogue’s Kathryn Neale. A launch party cohosted by Rocha and Saks’ group senior vice president of creative and marketing, Terron Schaefer, is slated for Sept. 15. The theme of the campaign, said MCM U.S. marketing manager Marina Storonkin, “is accessible luxury for the young metropolitan career woman.”