Coach’s Date with Miss Davenporte

Coach celebrated its latest design collaboration with Miss Davenporte, the contemporary line designed by celebrity stylists Estee Stanley and Cristina...

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LOS ANGELES — Coach celebrated its latest design collaboration with Miss Davenporte, the contemporary line designed by celebrity stylists Estee Stanley and Cristina Ehrlich, with an afternoon-long lunch at Ago on Friday.

The megabrand and the designers collaborated on two limited edition bag styles — a smaller evening bag with chain handles and a large hobo. The smaller bags, which represent Coach’s first foray into the evening category, come in metallic and colored leather, navy lace and dark beads, which mirror colors and fabrics in the current Miss Davenporte clothing collection. Retail prices range from $398 to $698. The large hobo comes in brown leather and retails for $1,200. Only about 100 bags were produced and sell exclusively at Ron Herman stores in Los Angeles; Brentwood, Calif.; Malibu, Calif.; South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Las Vegas.

This story first appeared in the January 14, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

John Eshaya, vice president of women’s wear at Ron Herman said, “The smaller bags work well with the little dresses everyone is wearing, and in L.A., every woman also needs a giant bag. What I like about this collection is that it’s limited, so women can feel as though they are collecting a special vintage piece.”

Coach had approached Stanley and Ehrlich last spring.

“Our dream has always been to make Miss Davenporte into a larger lifestyle brand, like Coach,” said Ehrlich. “We hope these bags, which we chose from Coach’s archives, turn into classic shapes like Chanel or Fendi bags.”

For his part, Reed Krakoff said he wanted to collaborate with Stanley and Ehrlich when he saw their debut collection for spring 2006. “It exemplifies that great combination of old Hollywood glamour and modern effortlessness. Their sensibilities complemented the classic styles and casual sophistication of Coach.”

Of course, Krakoff said he views the duo as both designers and stylists. As stylists, their access to celebrity clients such as Penélope Cruz, Jessica Biel and Nicole Richie probably doesn’t hurt. Their client Jennifer Morrison was on hand wearing a Miss Davenporte dress and bag, mingling with guests Mandy Moore, Amber Tamblyn, Erin Wasson, Ivana Milicevic, Debra Messing, and a slew of others.

With most Golden Globes events cancelled last weekend, a boatload of actresses were more than happy to linger at the Italian restaurant, grazing the buffet and lounging on Coach pillows on the patio listening to DJ Tendaji Lathan.

“Reed is like family, I’d support him any time,” said Moore. “Plus, I love his bags. I don’t put too much time into thinking about an outfit, and I know I can pick up a Coach bag and feel put together.”

Added Messing, “It’s reliable. And you know everything will fit in it.”

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