Zac Posen: Adding On

His unfinished headquarters in TriBeCa isn't the only construction project Zac Posen has under way.

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NEW YORK — His unfinished headquarters in TriBeCa isn’t the only construction project Zac Posen has under way. The designer is also busy with a new, full-scale accessories collection for spring. The line, which consists of eight styles of bags and five of shoes, as well as a smattering of small leather goods and belts, evolved from the bags he has designed for the past two seasons. (Though done for Posen’s runway shows, strong retail interest prompted sales.)

The most dramatic aspect of the new bags may be their proportions. Aside from one envelope clutch, the collection consists of oversized numbers, like his favorite “day-to-night” portfolios that are big enough to fit papers and magazines, as well as, he said with a wink, “a change of clothes.”

“There is a lot of talk about volume, and for me, that means a big bag,” Posen said, pointing out that he loves the oversized shoulder bags Ashley Olsen is always seen carrying. Size, though, isn’t just a matter of visual impact for Posen; it’s practical, too. Case in point: A large hobo bag that expands in width to become an overnighter, or a barrel bag with side panels that snap outward to provide additional space.

When it comes to the collection’s materials, Posen went for several different variations. A hobo, for instance, is made with python, stingray and lizard, while another version combines washed leather and distressed suede. Meanwhile, Posen’s signature “Z” hardware is nowhere in sight. Instead, he opted for brushed copper rings, tassel heads and rivets displaying his full name. “I want to create an object of desire,” Posen said, “something that looks as if you made it yourself.”

As for the shoes, the sandals feature a new heel shape that Posen described as “sexy, like a women’s torso.” There are also peep-toe slingbacks in fabrics that coordinate with the ready-to-wear, and a Grecian wedge sandal inspired by a trip to Patmos, Greece, last summer.

Because the accessories line is as fresh as the paint on his studio walls, prices, stores and sales projections have not yet been set, but Posen knows he has a long road ahead. “We’re getting started now,” he said. “This is just the beginning.”

This story first appeared in the September 10, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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