By  on October 8, 2007

Bill Blass is accessorizing.

The design house has signed a licensing agreement with Mondani Corp. to manufacture and distribute handbags, small leather goods and cases for cosmetics and toiletries.

The new accessories category will feature a high-end collection called Bill Blass and one for the better category called Collection Bill Blass.

"We were looking to create a natural extension of the brand by starting an accessories business," said Bill Blass chief executive officer Michael Groveman. "Mondani is a great partner and understands how to make a luxury-level bag."

Bowing for fall 2008, the collection expects to have the same retail distribution as Bill Blass apparel, including stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. Both lines will consist of a variety of handbags and small leather goods inspired by the ready-to-wear collection's seasonal themes and silhouettes.

Bill Blass accessories will retail from $295 to $795 and designer pieces will start at $1,000.

The firm has recently hired Peter Som as its creative director and he will play a major role in all categories within the firm — new ones are expected to launch in the next few years.

"We're working on a number of initiatives," Groveman said. "And Peter will have a very strong influence in what we put out there."

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