MIKLI EYES BAGS: Eyewear designer Alain Mikli has set his sights on handbags.

This story first appeared in the June 10, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

On a trip to New York last month, the Paris-based designer introduced three hard-case handbags — Basket, Beauty Case and Moon Bag — made from cellulose acetate, which Mikli also uses for ophthalmic and sunglass frames.

“I love the material acetate,” said Mikli. “I have been wanting to make something completely different with it.”

The Basket bag, for instance, is made with the equivalent of 40 frames, while the Moon Bag equals 25 pairs. Each bag has a detachable pocket with zipper.

Retail prices range from $335 to $515, and the line is available in Alain Mikli boutiques.

WELSH’S TV BID: Helen Welsh is adding television persona to her resume. On June 21, the designer and showroom owner is making her debut on QVC selling a line of accessories specifically designed for the shopping channel.

“I met with QVC when I opened my business last August,” said Welsh. “They felt strongly that I should brand myself because customers could relate to me being a soccer mom and a business woman at the same time, they said.”

Welsh will discuss two groups, Animal Magnetism and Romantic Toile, with items on sale including a large quilted animal-print duffel bag, a choice of hats with detachable leopard-print scarves, red toile bags with bamboo handles and toile bleached paper-straw-short-brim hat. The line will be priced from $20 to $75.

Welsh, who formerly headed Liz Claiborne’s accessory division, started her own multiline showroom last year.

LUXURY SURVEY: Luxury Solutions Inc. of New Canaan, Conn., has launched WatchTrack, a syndicated consumer research study on luxury watches based on interviews with 1,500 targeted luxury consumers.

The annual survey is designed to give companies consumer perceptions of the leading luxury watch brands and is divided into three sections: a market profile of consumer attitudes and usage habits, a brand profile detailing consumer attitudes toward leading luxury watch brands and an advertising profile providing consumer evaluations of print advertising campaigns.

“In order to efficiently market their brands, marketers need reliable sources of consumer-based information,” said Dale N. Dewey, founder and chief executive officer of Luxury Solutions. “WatchTrack will provide an important new tool for marketers of luxury watches to better understand consumer preferences.”

The study will be conducted in June and delivered to clients by the end of the summer.

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