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Tommy Hilfiger’s wife, Dee Ocleppo, is set on making a name for herself in the accessories market.
This story first appeared in the December 5, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Ocleppo has partnered with HSN for her first handbag venture, Deesigns by Dee Ocleppo — a line of customizable, interchangeable frame bags she said began as an idea for one of her husband’s collections.
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“I talked to Tommy about this bag that I used to carry — we called it the Bermuda bag and you could change the covers on them. They are very preppy and you can button on one cover and take it off and reverse it and the other side would have a different color,” Ocleppo said of the inspiration for her own line.
Set to launch on HSN and hsn.com at the end of March, the collection is comprised of four silhouettes — a frame clutch, a satchel with ring handle, a tote and a shoulder bag with a tortoise chain handle strap. Prices range from just under $100 up to $250 and include 13 “coverlet” choices, including denim, leopard-print canvas, quilted nylon and coral patent leather with accents such as eyelet, perforated fabric and metallic detailing. There will be eight additional coverlets available only at hsn.com.
Ocleppo, who calls fashion “pretty fickle,” wants her customer to be able to design her own handbag, giving the collection a “do-it-yourself” element where the wearer can select the handle and color fabric of her choosing.
“I’d like to offer what’s trending and what people have and what’s in fashion now and not break the bank,” Ocleppo said. “For a bag these days, it’s pretty affordable. You don’t have to mortgage your home. I think it’s unique, it’s accessible and affordable for everyone — and it kind of makes you the designer. It gives you control.”