Barbara K, the purveyor of feminized household tools, how-to repair kits and “functional fashion,” is back in business.
Her new line, called DIYVA by Barbara K, officially launches Nov. 29 with a party in the Cellar at Macy’s Herald Square in New York, and is being distributed to 310 Macy’s stores and on macys.com. DIYVA is short for “do-it-yourself diva.”
DIYVA will initially have pillow purses with a dual function — they’re purses that when turned inside out convert to pillows. Tool kits designed for women will also be sold and other products are in development, including a sleepover duffle with a built-in pillow, garden bags with mini rakes and knee pads, and gadgets and organizers for the kitchen. “Women want products that make life easier,” said Barbara Kavovit, aka Barbara K. “They need solutions to save time and money for their busy lifestyles, and to be independent” in a world still dominated by men.
It’s a modest new rebuild for Kavovit, after her Barbara K Enterprises went bust in April 2008 and a subsequent licensing company called Barbara’s Way which had licenses for tools at Wal-Mart and gloves for gardening and cleaning at Home Depot, ran its course. Kavovit once had her own construction management company and years ago handed out business cards to women in shopping center parking lots, offering to act as an “interpreter” between them and their contractors. She considers herself “a pioneer” in de-mystifying the home improvement sector to women.
“I don’t think it’s by accident that I’ve been able to continually create new products for America’s largest retailers and with an understanding of what women of today want and need in terms of fashion and function,” said Kavovit.
The pillow purses, she explained, are constructed with enough cushioning to still keep cosmetics and other items in the bag and not feel them when you’re using the bag as a pillow. “They’re ergonomically designed to support your back and head and also carry your essentials,” Kavovit said. They’re also waterproof, sporty, compact and priced $49.99. She came up with the concept after suffering from a herniated disc and using her own handbag to prop up her back. “I was in so much pain.”
The tool kits, priced at $39.99, include levelers, interchangeable screw drivers, pliers, tape measures, stubby hammers with short handles easier for women to wield, and repair guides. All the tools are in trendy colors. “You are not going to use these for major renovations,” Kavovit said. “But you can hang pictures, tap in nails and do minor repairs.”
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)