Since Deborah Lloyd joined Kate Spade as creative director and co-president a year ago, speculation has abounded about the accessories brand diving into apparel. Now there’s a timeline. Spring is the first full season with Lloyd’s stamp on the line, and the spring collection has more apparel than ever before, Lloyd said. But for spring, the clothes will sell only in Kate Spade’s own stores, which will serve as a test lab for fit. As early as fall 2009, Kate Spade may start wholesaling the apparel — in more than capsule collections but less than full collections — to other retailers, which include Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom, according to, the $90 million brand’s co-president and chief operating officer. If not for fall ’09, the apparel will definitely wholesale by spring 2010, said Leavitt. The launch comes at a time when retailers are looking to update what once were called bridge floors with personality and pattern-focused lines like Tory Burch and M Missoni, which have similar price points to the Kate Spade apparel offerings.

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