NEW YORK — Joy Gryson’s newest handbag offerings definitely fit into the “affordable luxury” label.
This story first appeared in the February 16, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Priced considerably lower than her six-year-old namesake Gryson collection, the IIIBeca by Joy Gryson line consists of five styles, all retailing for under $200. The bags don’t have the signature braided handles she’s used since the inception of her own brand, and, with this new line, there’s a focus on “versatility,” “functionality” and “wearability,” according to Gryson.
The vachetta leather bags are available in neutral shades of tan, natural and black, as well as brighter red, royal blue, mustard, orange and hunter green, and each comes with a removable nylon pouch (that snaps in and out as a backpack). All five shapes are named after a street in TriBeCa — the Staple Street Pouch, Chambers Crossbody, Duane Street Messenger, North Moore Satchel and Reade Street Tote — the downtown neighborhood here where Gryson resides with her family.
“I wanted the silhouettes to be very, very universal. I can see moms in TriBeCa wearing it, or [even] a cool Lower East Side chick,” Gryson told WWD, adding that she drew inspiration from an Il Bisonte bag she carried when she was 15.
“It was the one bag I loved when I was growing up, and they were expensive at the time. It was a natural leather that got better with wear, and I wanted to do something that had that vein in mind. I can wear it and then my daughter can wear it,” Gryson said. “We kept it tight and focused for the launch, and we did it in the best fun colors that we possibly could find.”
This will be the third line for the designer, who was inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America last July, following Gryson and the secondary Olivia Harris label (named after her daughter), which launched in 2007. She also has a higher-end, capsule collection — an offshoot of her main line — but her latest efforts don’t resemble any of her existing offerings.
There’s a charitable component to Gryson’s latest accessory endeavor: The designer will donate nearly 10 percent of wholesale sales to three organizations: the 9/11 Memorial, Family Focus Adoption Services (which was founded by Gryson’s mother) and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Three percent will go to each — reflected in the moniker of the line — which is the Roman numeral III plus “beca,” a play on the word TriBeCa.