After 88 years of selling practically every accessory but handbags,The Echo Design Group is finally dipping its toe into the market with anew collection for spring.
“When you have an 88-year history,you have a Chinese sense of time,” said company chief executive officerSteven Roberts, who explained the new handbag collection, which will hitstores in February, nods to Echo’s focus on print, pattern and color.
Founded in 1923 as a scarf company, Echo has since expanded intocategories such as swimwear, home, outerwear and cold-weatheraccessories. According to Roberts, whose grandfather started thecompany, the latest addition is meant to fill a “white space” in themarket.
That space is a nonleather, moderately priced ($78 to$128) one that mixes functionality with fashion.
“No one needsanother leather brand,” Roberts said. “We come from a textile base. It’sa softer world.”
The company’s heritage, combined with thesuccess of the beach bag collection it has produced for a few years,have been key drivers in the creation of the handbag line, the ceo said.He declined to disclose Echo’s sales, but said he expects the newcollection to account for between 10 and 15 percent of revenues in thenext few years.
Inspired by its scarves, tribal influences andanimal prints, the bags mix new materials like cotton based coatedlightweight fabrics with textured piping and “pops of color,” said ClareSchultheis, managing director of handbags, who stressed the opportunityto grab market share.
The first collection will contain 45different units, and will include hobos, cross body bags, shoulder bags,flap messenger bags, north-south totes and large square totes.
The bags will appear in many of the same stores that carry the Echobrand now, including Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s and Dillard’s.
“There’s a very varied customer who would like this [collection],” saidSchultheis, noting that while the bag’s reasonable price point gives ita leg up on competitors like Coach and Marc by Marc Jacobs, it’s “notalways about price.”
“You just have to give the customer a lotof things to love about the product,” she said.
@moncler unveiled its latest project, #MonclerGenius, yesterday at Milan Fashion Week. The Italian outwear maker gave show-goers a preview of the monthly collections – which were created by eight designers and creative talents including Pierpaolo Piccioli, Simone Rocha, Craig Green and more – that will start rolling out in the summer.
In honor of Rihanna’s 30th birthday, we took a look back at an interview with the Barbados-native when she was just 18 years old. Here, she talked about her second album, “A Girl Like Me” in 2006. “I want to be me. I want people to fall in love with who Rihanna is, and that’s why I want the album to be about me so people can really find out who this girl Rihanna is, because they only know the ‘Pon de Replay’ girl.” Fast forward 12 years, and she’s released six more albums and has become a powerhouse in both the fashion and music industries. Happy birthday, @badgalriri 🎈(📷: Pavel Antonov) #wwdarchive