NEW YORK – Designer Kate Spade is ready for a comeback.
She is returning to the fashion arena with an accessories collection due out for holiday. The line will consist of a full, extensive shoe line, as well as some handbag offerings. “I’ve spent the last eight years raising my daughter and being a consumer,” Spade told WWD. “It’s exciting to be back at work.”
Retailers are expected to begin viewing the collection later this week and at market next week. Further details, including price points, were not available.
While the product is ready to be shown, the name of the new brand has yet to be determined, though a spokesperson revealed that two possible names are being considered. The designer is unable to use her own name due to legal restrictions following the sale of her brand to the-then Liz Claiborne Inc.
Spade, along with husband Andy, left the Kate Spade brand, and its men’s wear counterpart, Jack Spade, in July 2007 after Claiborne acquired the company from the Neiman Marcus Group for $125 million in November 2006. At the time of the acquisition, the Spades signed a six-month service contract, eventually staying on longer in order to finish the spring market. Upon revealing their exits, Kate and Andy Spade, who served as designer and chief executive officer, respectively, cited personal reasons as the primary reason.
“This is a hard decision, and I feel very emotional about it,” Spade told WWD at the time. “But the emotions would be more about melancholy if I thought we weren’t doing the right thing.”
The husband-wife duo, along with partners Pamela Bell and Elyce Arons, founded the brand in 1993 as an accessories firm, quickly earning traction with its signature nylon bags. In 1999, Neiman Marcus acquired a 56 percent stake in the company for $33.6 million, putting it on the block in September 2005, where it remained for a year until Claiborne bought it. Claiborne then went through a string of changes — including in its name. After selling off all its other brands, the group renamed itself as simply Kate Spade & Co. in February 2014.