By  on January 27, 2005

NEW YORK — Come April, Kate Spade will be taking care of a brand new baby.

The accessories designer, who is due to give birth to her first child next week, joined with design team As Four for a capsule apparel collection. The collaboration, to be labeled As Fourkatespade, will consist of versatile items rather than ready-to-wear ensembles.

“I knew that As Four would be able to construct these simple pieces interestingly and intelligently,” Spade said.

Spade and As Four designers Adi, Ange, Gabi and Kai may seem an unlikely match, but the five share a history few are aware of. Five years ago, Gabi worked with Spade on a clothing line exclusive to the Japanese market. The line was discontinued, but As Four kept in touch and used Spade’s shoes for its last three runway shows.

The As Fourkatespade collection includes a pleated green chiffon piece that can be worn as a skirt, but also serves as a capelet or a bandanna, and a poplin capelet in a reversible terry cloth fabric. Designs were intended to be versatile and enhance a look rather than be one in itself.

“We narrowed it down to the idea of clothing as an accessory,” said As Four’s Gabi. “It’s a small, precise and edited collection and we wanted this to be a clothing line of accessories.”

The collection will be available in Kate Spade’s 14 stores, and will retail from $195 for a short pleated chiffon wrap to $895 for a canvas striped coat. A spokeswoman for Spade said the collaboration will continue in coming seasons, and the team is already working on fall pieces.

As Four is not new to design collaborations like this. The design team is working with Evan Yurman on a collection of jewelry, and just designed a limited-edition black canvas wine tote for Ecco Domani.

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