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Moschino is showing its accessories category a little extra love — literally. The Italian apparel company, a unit of Aeffe SpA, is launching a contemporary-priced accessories line called Love Moschino for spring, to be sold alongside its ready-to-wear line of the same name.

This story first appeared in the October 19, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“The Love Moschino accessories collection allows a younger aspirational customer to own a Moschino handbag at a more affordable price point,” said Michelle Stein, president of Aeffe USA. Love Moschino is, in fact, the rebranded version of Moschino Jeans, which was launched in 1986; the line was renamed for the pre-fall 2008 season. While the decision to launch the lower-priced accessories collection for spring made sense in view of the slow luxury market, Stein noted it had been a goal since the rtw line launch. “[It’s] a natural progression for the Moschino brand after the success of the ready-to-wear,” said Stein, who noted this contemporary collection comprises 20 percent of the Moschino business in the United States. “We have a couple of interesting people who joined the design team who have quite a bit of experience in the contemporary market, and we’ve been perfecting our sourcing offshore. It was a convergence of things,” she said.

Retailing for between $165 and $445, the accessories line includes totes, shoulder bags, wallets and clutches, some in nappa and patent leather, others in calf and canvas. The look is whimsical and elegant, with hardware finished in bright gold and silver colors (on one quilted leather clutch, a pair of silver calves serve as clasps). There are 12 groups that offer four to six styles each, which will be expanded to include new materials, such as suede, for fall 2010.

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