By and  on August 13, 2012

Reed Krakoff’s office for the brand that bears his name is strictly modernist — much like that of an architect. Gray felt chairs with a Bauhaus touch line a white central table that’s topped with bowls filled with markers and drawing pens. Design books are stacked on industrial shelves, while an eclectic mix of art — a Basquiat painting, a Patti Smith drawing, a Frank Stella sculpture  —is on display in the space. “They’re all pretty disparate, but something holds them together,” Krakoff says, pointing to the artwork. “I think it’s that mix that makes it interesting and unique.”

That mix is a philosophy he brings to his designs as well. Two years since launching the Reed Krakoff brand of clothes, fragrance and accessories, the latter has emerged as the top category, now accounting for the lion’s share of sales. If the ready-to-wear had some early growing pains, Krakoff’s accessories displayed a healthy momentum since the get-go. Shortly after the label’s debut, Michelle Obama was spotted carrying Krakoff’s blue leather Ribbon tote. Retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Net-a-porter.com have embraced the line, and, along the way, Krakoff has become increasingly recognized as a go-to designer for bags in exotic skins like crocodile and python. This past June, the Council of Fashion Designers of America honored Krakoff with the prestigious 2012 Accessory Designer of the Year award.

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