FUSCO PLANS LAUNCH OF FIRST HANDBAG LINE

Byline: Luisa Zargani

MILAN — Antonio Fusco is entering the accessories world with the launch of his first handbag collection.
The Neapolitan designer has signed a four-year licensing agreement with LAMB srl, a traditional Florentine leather goods manufacturer, to produce and distribute the line, slated to bow for spring-summer 2000.
Besides handbags, there will be small leather goods and belts for men and women.
“I felt the need to complete my look with accessories that reflect the style of the clothes I design,” said Fusco, who described his style as essential and simple.
“The details in the bags are a reference to the same artistic research I am known for,” he said.
These artistic elements include nickel handles, contrasting stitching, subdued embroidered or engraved logos, hidden snap closures and zippers, according to Fusco.
The collection will range from easy shoulder bags and structured totes in calf and more glamorous styles in embroidered satin.
The color palette ranges from classic shades like beige, blue and black to stronger hues including orange, green, yellow and red.
“I am keeping an eye on fashion trends, without neglecting the need to be practical,” he said.
Fusco projected sales of $2.2 million in 2000 and estimated sales reaching $8.2 million by the fourth year.
Dollar figures are translated from the Italian lira at current exchange rates.
Initially, the line will be distributed only in Europe and the Far East, with Italy accounting for roughly 55 percent of sales. Retail prices will range from $49 to $323.
Fusco added that he anticipates adding eyewear and shoes to his burgeoning group of licenses, which include knitwear, swimwear and jeans.