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.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion