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.”
@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
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)