NEW YORK — Stacey Lapidus relied on editorial instincts for her first handbag collection.
Best known as Vanity Fair’s effervescent, girl-about-town contributing accessories editor, Lapidus points to her five years at the magazine as the reason she’s extra-finicky about fabrics, trims and hardware.
“Being an editor is a radar for me,” Lapidus said. “I know when I see something that has potential. After five years of looking at beautiful things, I was inspired to do my own thing.”
So tonight, the 31-year-old designer is launching a 14-piece namesake collection with a party at Soho House. The line is tailor-made for women like Lapidus: out and about at the city’s best parties and always accessorized with a perfect handbag and pair of heels.
A Great Neck, N.Y., native, Lapidus had always aspired to be a fashion editor and enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology. After graduation, she took a job at Kate Spade, who was then still in the early stages of building her handbag empire. That experience cemented her love for all accessories.
Lapidus is also the creative director of Bagborroworsteal.com, the designer rental handbag Web site that was launched last June by her brother, Lloyd, and his brother-in-law, Greg Pippo.
She counts Edmundo Castillo, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Balenciaga and Elman among her most adored shoe designers and labels, but she is hard-pressed to narrow down her handbag favorites. “There are just too many that I’d love to name, this article would be too long,” she quipped.
For her own collection, she started studying her favorite vintage handbag shapes and hunted down the best fabric and trim stores in New York for inspiration. Embroidered leaves wrap around the top panel of one clutch, while another, one-of-a-kind style is adorned with Lapidus’ own vintage jewelry. The clutches come in leather, linen and suede, some with a metallic or distressed finish.
The handbags range in wholesale price from $200 to $500, while made-to-order pieces start at about $300 — and the sky’s the limit depending on a customer’s wishes, she added. Lapidus said it was too early to project sales, but noted that she was hoping for a six-digit figure.She credits her enthusiasm to the two Vanity Fair fashion directors, Elizabeth Saltzman and Anne McNally. Having worked once for Kate Spade is an irony that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Lapidus. Spade, too, was an accessories editor before starting her own collection of handbags.
“Kate and Andy [Spade] have created the most incredible business,” Lapidus said. “Of course, I would aspire to do the same.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast