Her name might not be familiar to consumers yet, but Katherine Fleming — the force behind the accessories of several of today’s hottest brands — is ready to take her bow.
Fleming, a 29-year-old Miami native who now resides in Manhattan, is launching her first signature line of accessories after designing behind the scenes at Club Monaco, The Gap and most recently Tory Burch, where she launched the brand’s accessories and was design director of accessories.
Her own collection has a modern, luxury bent with shoulder bags with linear trapunto detailing, python and stamped patent leather trim. Fleming’s interlocking “K” logo is incorporated subtly into the bags. The chain handles on some styles, such as an electric blue bag, are painted with a blue powder coating used to finish cars.
“I have loved accessories since I was a little girl,” said Fleming. “I loved to dress up with my mom’s hats, shoes and bags. Designing bags is interesting because you’re like an architect, building a little house for a woman’s belongings.”
The line retails from $850 for a clutch to $3,600 for a larger day bag. The average price is around $1,500.
Fleming’s official launch is for spring, but she is having a soft launch for fall with a few core styles that will sell at Barneys New York and Opening Ceremony beginning next month. Fleming has plans to eventually to go into footwear, small leather goods and costume jewelry. Her business partner and co-owner is Jane Seo, a fashion consultant who was most recently director of brand strategy and seasonal fashion merchandising for Limited Brands.
“Working with big brands gave me the knowledge and confidence to start my own line,” added Fleming, who also had stints at Michael Kors and Rod Keenan. “I know what to expect in the manufacturing process — there are always snags when you’re a big company — so this allows me to stay calm when things don’t go as planned.”
Tory Burch said, “Kate’s incredible taste and eclectic, modern sensibility [have been] an invaluable addition to our design team. When I first saw the bags from her line I was so excited by their unique look and craftsmanship. She has a real eye for details and that shows in her collection.”
“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