By  on March 21, 2011

Knitwear firm Magaschoni has a new bag. The 22-year-old apparel brand is launching handbags for fall in an effort to broaden into a full lifestyle company.

“It is just time for more of a lifestyle brand. We have the manufacturing capabilities, the sensibility and the customers really recognize the brand.…It obviously was the next thing for us,” said Magaschoni president Monica Belag Forman.

The company has dabbled in accessories offerings such as a ruffle wrap — which is the top seller for Magaschoni — as well as gloves and hats, but this is its first full handbag line.

Magaschoni’s bag collection features 18 silhouettes in exotic skins, such as pebble grain leather, hair calf, python, crocodile and microfiber, in earth tones, black, white, gray and maroon. The designs are streamlined with no visible logo, and focus on practical details such as room for a laptop, sturdy hardware and a multitude of pockets.

“I don’t think it has to scream logo. I think there’s something great about this that it doesn’t have a logo on the outside…[for] that confident woman who just wants to buy something truly stunning,” said Belag Forman.

Magaschoni handbags were designed with a similar DNA to its apparel sister, with identical leather trims and color palette. The totes were also crafted to accommodate a clutch, as Belag Forman explained: “I call it a twinset — just like the knitwear — when I can put a clutch into the market bag.”

The line will be offered at three price tiers, ranging from $327 to $2,000, and will launch in about 75 doors in September. Magaschoni has projected first-year wholesale sales for the bags of about $1 million.

The company also is expanding geographically, with a store set to open in Los Angeles next month, and shop-in-shops in several new European retailers. In North America, Magaschoni has about 45 shop-in-shops, in addition to freestanding boutiques in East Hampton and Southampton, N.Y., and Greenwich, Conn.

The company also has made three hires in the last six months: Kevin Mogyros was appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer; Nickole Brown, director of e-commerce and creative services, and Deborah Schonfeld, director of marketing and public relations.

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