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Findings: Unionbay Grows Accessories…Gold Mine…Rafe Shop

<b>UNIONBAY GROWS ACCESSORIES:</b> Unionbay is building up its accessories business with a slew of new licensing deals.<br><br>Three categories — handbags, hosiery and luggage — were just signed and will bow for spring. New York...

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UNIONBAY GROWS ACCESSORIES: Unionbay is building up its accessories business with a slew of new licensing deals.

Three categories — handbags, hosiery and luggage — were just signed and will bow for spring. New York accessories firm Daniel M. Friedman & Associates will make handbags and small leather goods in fabrics such as canvas, chino and washed denim. The collection will carry retail prices of $14 to $35.

Hosiery is produced by You & Me legwear and will include a selection of anklets, knee socks and athletic styles, with retail prices ranging from $5 to $12. Luggage was signed to Skyway Luggage and will retail from $29.99 to $149.99.

Cathie Underwood, vice president of licensing at Unionbay, declined to give sales projections, but said plans call for licensing to account for 10 percent of overall brand sales this year. The company, which is owned by Seattle Pacific Industries, now has nine licensees for 10 categories, including footwear, headwear, belts, sunglasses, watches and baby apparel, Underwood said.

GOLD MINE: Accessories industry veteran Elaine Gold, formerly president and chief executive officer at scarf firm Collection XIIX Ltd., has left and formed a new company called Elaine Gold Enterprises LLC.

The new firm is initially concentrating on creating merchandise that bears artwork, icons and slogans from the United States Postal Service, including fashion accessories, gifts, home and activewear. Under Gold’s tenure, Collection XIIX acquired licenses to produce scarves for firms including Anne Klein, Ellen Tracy, Jones New York and Lulu Guinness. Gold Enterprises is slated to open a showroom later this fall at 390 Fifth Avenue.

RAFE SHOP: Rafe New York, the fast-growing accessories brand, has just opened its first in-store shop, located in the Matsuzakaya department store in Nagoya, Japan.

Designer Rafe Totengco said the 500-square-foot shop was designed to replicate the urban design and feel of its store in Manhattan. The in-store shop includes the company’s range of products, including handbags, shoes and belts. Late last year, Rafe signed distribution agreements with two Japanese firms, Eternal Inc. and Mitsui & Co. Ltd., to facilitate its growth in Japan.

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