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Stella & Dot, the social commerce-based accessories company, will add to its offerings on April 8 with a full range of handbags.
This story first appeared in the March 12, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The nine-piece collection will retail from $22 for a cosmetics case to $138 for a weekender bag. Founder and chief executive officer Jessica Herrin called this the nearly 10-year-old company’s “launch into a lifestyle brand,” as well as a chance to double its market opportunity.
“In the $30 billion accessories market in the U.S., bags and jewelry each account for approximately $10 billion,” Herrin told WWD. “We see the same opportunity in bags as we did in jewelry — giving women on the go a simple way to be chic.”
Other styles include a $59 technology case that serves double duty as a clutch and wallet, a $39 jewelry roll, a classic $89 tote and a $128 convertible bag that has zippers up the side to let the wearer decide if she wants a sleeker or more expanded silhouette. A small handbag collection was released in 2011 — containing two cross-body and two convertible cross-body to clutch styles — but this is the first significant push for handbags geared for daytime use.
With sales expected to surpass $200 million this year — business grew from $175 million to $200 million from 2011 to 2012 — Herrin projected the new category will take in about $25 million through the end of the year. In addition to the brand being carried exclusively online at stelladot.com, the brand is sold via 14,000 active stylists around the world.
“We’re really investing in this as a huge growth category. We just opened a dedicated in-house design studio for this in Sausalito [Calif.],” Stella & Dot chief creative officer Blythe Harris said. She added that the bags are comprised of a combination of coated canvas, waffle poly and Saffiano leather and come in ikat, snakeskin and colorful multistripe prints.
Herrin added: “Broadening our accessories line by launching the new and massive category of bags allows us to make that opportunity for stylists bigger than ever before. It’s a ground-floor opportunity with a proven company.”