NEW YORK — Heading back to school will be sweeter this year as Candie’s Inc. introduces a handbag collection for fall.
The junior brand said Thursday it had reached a three-year licensing agreement with LaRue International for the production of a handbag line to debut during next month’s accessories market here. The 24-year-old firm ventured into the handbag category a few years ago, but this time, they’re approaching it with a larger presence.
Like Candie’s shoe collection, the handbag designs will range from casual to dressy. Candie’s chairman and chief executive officer Neil Cole views the line as a natural extension for the footwear brand. He noted that though some styles will coordinate — “When you’re doing a flip-flop you’ll want to do a great beach bag,” he said — the collection as a whole will evoke the casual Candie’s lifestyle.
Cole expects to include more than 100 styles retailing from $15 to $80 in the first season, which will begin shipping for back-to-school, but pick up speed for holiday.
LaRue International is a licensing match for Candie’s because of their “good junior sensibility and diverse product line that fits the Candie’s lifestyle,” Cole said.
“The possibilities for young junior handbags and accessories are endless,” said LaRue director Joseph Tawil. The firm also holds the license for Fubu accessories, but Tawil noted that Candie’s is more “fun and colorful” than the urban brand.
Known for their controversial advertising, Candie’s does not plan on running a bag-specific ad campaign for the collection. Rather, Cole said, the firm’s marketing strategy is focused on conveying a more general brand picture.
“For instance, if you’re in the bathroom,” he began, referring to the Candie’s ads featuring Jenny McCarthy with her underwear around her ankles, “sometimes a bag doesn’t fit in a bathroom.”
The line will be targeted toward department stores that carry the Candie’s line. The company declined to give wholesale projections.
— Emily Holt