Eagle-eyed label watchers of the Golden Globes might have noted the striking number of Judith Leiber bags clutched outside the Beverly Hilton: 23, to be exact. Of course, a crystal-studded minaudière is exactly what you’d expect on a red carpet (the company is also hoping for a high turnout of its wares for the Oscars). But with a planned fall 2010 rollout of day bags, costume jewelry and a new fragrance, the company saw its Globes outing as crucial exposure.
“The recession has actually been good for us because, when times are good, you don’t try to fix things,” says Mary Gleason, Leiber’s president, who was installed in 2008 by parent company Schottenstein Luxury Group.
By fixing, Gleason means retooling, as she has done with the firm’s image — she reverted the label’s title from Leiber to Judith Leiber — and adding to its signature evening collection a more versatile day bag lineup.
Late last year Gleason hired Amis Garrigue, a former creative director at Seven For All Mankind. Garrigue created a fall 2010 lineup of larger leather bags with details like ruffles and hardware, pieces that Gleason sees as easing from the office to a cocktail party.
“We’re taking our core customer and giving her something else to buy,” Gleason explained (they will retail for between $995 and $1,995).
With the launch of a flagship on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills last fall, Gleason also saw an opportunity to venture into costume jewelry for fall 2010, which she hopes will fill an aspirational niche (and find a fan base in the stylists and starlets who visit the store, which offers services like champagne and catering during awards seasons). The line includes cocktail rings and necklaces, and will retail at about $250 to $1,200.
“We’re trying to be more on trend, more fashion-oriented, because we also need other customers,” says Gleason, comparing the aesthetic to Leiber’s more classic evening bags. She adds that the quality will be consistent with a luxury brand.
Gleason anticipates the expansion will boost business: According to her, retail sales in 2009 were about $35 million and are projected to reach $50 million for 2010.
And yet another category will complement her new handbags: Judith Leiber shoes, to debut around late 2011. The line will likely include the label’s signature crystals, but skew less formal.
“I think there’s a price point missing,” Gleason says (though a price point has yet to be determined). “Fashion shoes but not high, high fashion.”
The firm will also launch a new perfume for holiday, which follows the 2007 release of the company’s first fragrance, Leiber. But Gleason stresses that the perfume, costume jewelry and handbags will be considered secondary to Leiber’s evening pieces. “I never let an expansion of categories interfere with my core,” she says.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye