NEW YORK — Designer Eileen West has signed her first licensing agreement for accessories with Tandy Brands Accessories.
The collection of women’s belts, small leather goods and handbags will be distributed to better department stores for fall 2007.
West, who is known for her romantic-looking sleepwear, robes and dresses, also creates hundreds of original textile designs each year.
“We are still at the talking stages right now, but we are envisioning linings in the leather goods and handbags that feature the EW logo,” said West, who is co-founder and president of the San Francisco-based company bearing her name. “I am known for details like little trims and tucking, romantic looks such as ribbon treatments through lace, and we plan to do embossed logos on leather, lots of braiding, and beading on evening bags. We’ll also do some leather and textile fabrics combinations, which will be fun.”
J.S.B. Jenkins, president and chief executive officer of Tandy Brands, based in Arlington, Tex., said, “I am personally very impressed with Eileen and certainly the success with her brand. I think her involvement, coming with the right look to our design people, will be very well interpreted, fresh and distinctive.”
A first-year wholesale sales figure was not available, but the accessories line is expected to generate sales of $5 million to $6 million the first year, according to industry estimates.
Jane Batts, president of the women’s division at Tandy Brands, said the Eileen West accessories would be positioned as a “better-designer collection” and the products will be merchandised in specialty packaging. Suggested retail for handbags will average $200, and belts and other smaller goods such as wallets and clutches will sell for $48 to $60.
“We will be doing classic leather goods in classic colors, as well as trend-driven, seasonal fashion colors,” Batts said. “We want to keep the line really clean and focus on quality.”
West said there will be a “little preview in January” for retailers and the media that will include a launch party. A location has not been determined.
West licenses sleepwear and robes to The Komar Co., and bras and panties to The Chelsea Design Group. Her limited-edition dresses are produced in-house, but West said she is exploring licensing opportunities for dresses, and bed and bath products.
Tandy Brands produces women’s accessories under the licensed Docker’s, Levi’s and Totes names, as well as two proprietary labels, Rolf’s and Princess Gardner.