Cathy Lee understands the power that great accessories can have, which is precisely why she coined her handbag brand Ekatrina New York. “It’s named after Catherine the Great, the Russian Empress,” says Lee, who held
positions at the Gap and Old Navy brands, Liz Claiborne and Ann Taylor before starting her own line. “She was the most powerful woman ruler in architecture, politics, everything. I used her as a muse to create power through handbags and accessories.” Ekatrina New York handbags are indeed fit for a queen, or at least some royal stars —
Korean celebrities such as Yunjin Kim from the ABC-TV series “Lost” have already been seen sporting Lee’s crocodile and python embossed totes and clutches. As someone who splits her time between New York and Korea, Lee launched the Ekatrina brand three years ago in Asia and Europe at such stores as Mitsukoshi in Taiwan and Milan’s Castelli
Cesare. But she is ready to bring accessories power to the U.S. Ekatrina New York is slated to debut at Ice Accessories in Los Angeles in New York. The collection wholesales from $130 to $375.
This story first appeared in the July 21, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.