Stefani’s L.A.M.B. Bags Go Luxe

Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. label is adding high-end handbags to its roster.

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Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. label is adding high-end handbags to its roster.

This story first appeared in the April 7, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The four-year-old firm, whose accessories are produced in partnership with Schifter + Partners, has launched a Black Label line called Aston, hitting stores this fall.

The collection retails from $525 for a clutch to $1,495 for a limited edition carryall and is inspired by vintage British sports cars. With style names such as the Lotus and Winston, the Aston bags feature special detailing such as layers of perforated and pebble-grain leather mixed with patent leather piping and suede strips. Each of the eight styles is equipped with black and gray striped lining, gunmetal hardware and matte black hangtags.

Tim Schifter, chairman and chief executive officer of Schifter + Partners, projects the collection will generate approximately 10 percent of L.A.M.B.’s total handbag sales in its first year. He describes the collection, as well as the entire L.A.M.B. brand, as “irreverent luxury.”

“Gwen designs prints that push the envelope, and she does things that are so differentiated from the rest of the market,” Schifter said. “And the crazier and more irreverent they are, the better they do. The bags really resonate with consumers and retailers.”

The Aston collection will be available in limited distribution at the top 35 of L.A.M.B.’s 250 doors, including certain Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s locations as well as Intermix and Henri Bendel. The collection will also establish L.A.M.B.’s presence internationally, premiering in such stores as Tsum in Moscow, Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and Harvey Nichols and Villa Moda in the Middle East. The bags will also sell on eluxury.com as well as appear in the luxury catalogue Vivre.

“Having an upscale collection allows us to differentiate our assortment of various retailers,” said Schifter, whose firm also produces accessories for Jill Stuart, Harajuku Lovers and Kidrobot. “And we believe that adding the Black Label collection as an upper tier is a very sensible approach to fashion today. The retail conditions that exist always demand high-end product that is not only sophisticated, but produced and distributed in limited edition.”

The Aston collection is priced approximately 30 percent above the average L.A.M.B. handbag. For fall, Schifter also added a new line as the brand’s opening price point, the Soft Signature collection, which retails from $295 to $395.

“I love the designing process for the handbags,” said Stefani. “It’s always evolving and changing each season. This season I loved mixing different materials like leather and suede and then putting the L.A.M.B. twist on it….I look forward to expanding the L.A.M.B. brand even more.”

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