Seven For All Mankind may have launched bags in 2007, but the denim firm is keeping its accessories assortment fresh with new introductions such as footwear for fall and witty Love Notes and Break Up totes (nylon shoppers that feature a compilation of love — and hate — letters written by the Seven staff). WWD sat down with Rosella Giuliani, vice president of design and merchandising to talk handbags, shoes, writing styles and, of course, denim.
WWD: What made you decide to create the Love Notes and Break Up totes?
Rosella Giuliani: We wanted to develop a fun tote item that was different and unique. One of our graphic designers was doodling a note during a team meeting one day, and he had the idea to compile all different types of love and break-up notes from our internal team, put them together and make a print for the tote.
WWD: Were there any funny moments during the design process?
R.G.: We literally had to do a handwriting test on scraps of paper to see the different styles of everyone’s penmanship. It wasn’t until we saw the distinct difference between the male writing style and female writing style within the department that we decided to come up with two different prints — a love note print and a break-up letter. The guys contributed to the strong, aggressive and somewhat hateful words of the break-up letter, and the girls wrote most of the whimsical, dreamy, loving notes on the Love Note tote.
WWD: How would you describe the Seven For All Mankind customer?
R.G.: Our customer is a highly cultivated consumer who appreciates and enjoys fashion. Denim is the foundation of her wardrobe. She wears it during the day, to work and out at night. She appreciates quality and design and always wants to look good.
WWD: Can you describe the inspiration behind the new shoe collection?
R.G.: Our Fall 2009 footwear collection has been inspired by the strong, confident woman who has a powerful sense of style and is not afraid to convey that through her wardrobe — particularly her accessories.
WWD: You’ve been doing accessories now for several seasons. Why did you wait so long to create a denim bag?
R.G.: A denim bag was a natural development for us — and a perfect time to experiment with the concept since it is such a huge trend right now. We were able to easily execute all early development by utilizing our own premium denim knowledge, like cording and embellishment techniques and worldrenowned wash standards to come up with a really edgy, fun denim bag for a great value.
WWD: Have you used accessories to shift the paradigm that Seven For All Mankind is regarded exclusively as a denim brand?
R.G.: We consider ourselves a luxury denim-lifestyle brand, meaning we offer luxury products that complement and enhance denim. Accessories are a very important category for us because we believe that they are a natural extension to the brand.
WWD: What other accessories can we expect from Seven in the future?
R.G.: We are finalizing an agreement for an eyewear license.