INSTAGRAMMABLE: When a fete to celebrate Leatherology, the direct-to-consumer maker of accessibly priced leather goods, helmed by Rae Liu and her brother David, ended up on the feed of Sandra Campos, the chief executive officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the ceo slid into the duo’s DM to connect.
Liu, who cut her teeth at Alexander Wang, says the initial discussion was about popping up in a DVF store, but it led to a full-fledged collection, DVF x Leatherology, which launches today.
“Coincidentally, we had been wanting to launch prints on our accessories for a few seasons, so it was serendipitous when Sandra approached us, “ Liu told WWD, adding “as a female founder, we are thrilled to partner with such an iconic legacy brand.”
Liu and her team identified an assortment of pieces that would be elevated by prints and color blocking, and worked with the DVF design team through multiple rounds of sampling, “to get the combinations just right.”
The 10-piece collection reimagines several iconic DVF prints onto various Leatherology staples, ranging from wristlets and card cases to their signature Belmont tote.
“Every print in the collection is screen-printed on individual panels of leather by hand, an extremely time-intensive process, but one that produces incredibly vibrant color and quality,” Liu said. One such print featured in the collaboration, a snow leopard pattern, “is Diane’s very first animal print, which debuted with the wrap dress in 1974,” she said.
Liu founded her vertically integrated brand in 2008, beginning with a singular goal: to create the perfect men’s wallet. Now the brand offers 25 wallet styles, along with a range of personal, tech and travel accessories for all genders in a mix of colored leathers, each offering custom personalization.
“We’ve grown Leatherology 100 percent in the last three years, while staying profitable and scaling our operationally intensive business in a way that has not impacted quality,” Liu said of her privately funded company, a fact she says helps her make choices that are best for the business and its customers, not for investors. “We have also been fortunate to see social drive a lot of awareness and sales,” she said of the brand’s celebrity and influencer seeding efforts, which have seen its bags end up on high-impact celebrities like Serena Williams and Demi Moore.
The leather-goods brand regularly employs wait lists as a way “to gauge interest prior to launching a product and adjust our buys,” she said, adding “post-launch, wait lists create a sense of urgency so that when sold-out units come back in stock, customers know they must move quickly on them.”
The capsule collection is priced from $98 to $348 and rolls out over two drops, beginning today with the snow leopard collection for fall, and then the geoprint collection for holiday dropping at the end of October and will be sale on leatherology.com, dvf.com and select DVF retail locations.