There's a woefully short list of
the effortlessly stylish that includes women like Catherine
Deneuve and the late Audrey Hepburn. Add to that list Kate
Spade. The slim, brunette accessories designer has created a
brand that captures her classic aesthetic in more ways than
one. Spade's label, which appears on the outside of her
handbags, barely whispers her name. Wrought in lowercase
letters, it's charming, unconventional, and indisputably
tasteful: "kate spade."
course, Spade's bags have always stood for more than a label.
While working at Mademoiselle as a fashion editor from 1986 to
1991, Spade observed a void in the accessories market. "I
wasn't seeing a lot of interesting bags," she explains. "Women
were carrying these big black or brown bags that they would
throw things into and then stow under their desks or under the
table at dinner." Spade changed all that when she left the
magazine world to take a shot at filling the void. The first
collection, launched in 1993, consisted of whimsical little
totes full of charm and good taste. Spade designed linen bags
for spring in colors like bright pink and green and a pretty
mocha brown. She lined them with cotton sateen gingham and
trimmed the tops with white flowers that had vibrant yellow
centers. The fashion industry wasted no time in snapping them
Spade's signatures is a no-nonsense, boxy black nylon tote.
That classic, introduced shortly after the spring bags that
wowed the industry, was the bag that put the Kate Spade label
on the arms of fashionistas from coast to coast. Today,
Spade's line of accessories has grown to include animal-print
bags done in sleek satin; preppy plaid silk shantung bags and
footwear in a sexy range of slingbacks, sandals, slides, and
sounds like Spade has been busy, it's because she has. But
she's had help most notably from her husband and founding
partner, Andy Spade, whom she met while attending Arizona
State University. In the company's first few years, Andy spent
his days in the world of advertising at Manhattan agencies
like Saatchi & Saatchi and TBWA/Chiat/Day, but by night he
worked with Spade as the business found its legs. In 1996,
Andy joined full-time as president and creative director, and
last year he launched a line of men's accessories under the
label Jack Spade
have been moments for the couple when the magnitude of their
endeavor and its success has stopped them cold. "We probably
first realized that this was big on a vacation to Italy a few
years ago," says Spade. "We were at a hotel in Positano when
this woman strolled by carrying one of our bags. I said, 'Oh
my god,' and I nudged Andy. He knows the nudge quite well by
now," she says with a laugh.
nudge could become a major distraction for the Spades. Their
company has grown to include a number of carefully chosen
license agreements. Aficionados can now enjoy kate spade
sunglasses, launched in the spring of 2001, and in the spring
of 2002, Estée Lauder will launch kate spade beauty and
design philosophy that holds the company together is a simple
one, illustrated by Spade herself. "When you are defining your
own style, it's so important not to be nervous," she explains.
"If you've already pulled off a simple, clean look, then you
can just add one great piece: shoes or a bag. Find something
you're drawn to, something you can't stop thinking about.
Enjoy it. Play. I'm a big proponent of owning pieces that you
cannot wait to wear. I go in waves of wearing things day and
night, like this antique cocktail ring I bought recently," she
says, flashing one hand. "You want to find something that
speaks to you in a slightly eccentric way.
years, Spade's personal style has stayed a steady course. "Did
I ever have a Madonna phase in high school?" she asks
rhetorically. "No, overall my style has always been the same,"
she says. "Some would call it classic, but when I find a piece
I adore it doesn't really matter how I would classify it. I'm
not too interested in the super basic or the super flamboyant,
though; I play with both in a subtle way." And she is not at
all interested in following the day's hot trend. Take these
ubiquitous chunky-heeled shoes, for example. "I don't care if
that trend goes on into eternity," she says."I will not do
Spade's style heroines? She cites two women who until now have
never been mentioned in the same breath: actress Katherine
Hepburn and Icelandic singer Björk. "Hepburn found a look and
stuck with it,"she says. "She has always seemed comfortable in
her own skin, and she managed to wear man-tailored clothing in
a sexy way. Björk is kind of the opposite. She takes greater
risks, and her style is more cutting-edge, but at the same
time she's playing with fashion like Hepburn; she's dressing
appreciates the comfortable, pulled-together look of the
average woman on the streets of Paris. "Parisians tend to use
a lot of elements, but it all really works. It's not over
thought. If you really think about it too much, the look can
become stiff." And yet the designer understands the importance
of paring down the elements at times. "I adore coats, the kind
you can wear indoors or out. If I'm having a frumpy day, I
grab my favorite little trench coat, and I pull it on over a
simple skirt or sweater. I wrap myself up in it and wear it
all day. It's a great look," she exults. "I'm wearing it right
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Eighteen years ago, Kenneth Cole wanted to open a shoe company
with limited money. From experience hr knew one had to get in
quickly because so often new companies run out of cash flow
before they get the chance to conduct business. He also knew
it was easier to get credit from factories in Europe who
needed the business than from American banks that didn't. So I
lined up the factories, went to Europe, designed a collection
of shoes, and returned to the states to sell them.
At the time, a shoe company had two options. You could get a
room at the Hilton and become 1 of about 1100 shoe companies
selling their goods. This didn't provide the identity or image
Kenneth Cole felt necessary for a new company, and it cost a
lot more money than I had to spend. The other way was to do
what the big companies do and get a fancy showroom in Midtown
Manhattan not far from the Hilton. More identity, much more
Kenneth Cole had an idea. He called a friend in the trucking
business and asked to borrow one of his trucks to park in
Midtown Manhattan. He said sure, but good luck getting
permission. He went to the Mayor's office, Koch at the time,
and asked how one gets permission to park a 40 foot trailer
truck in Midtown Manhattan. Kenneth Cole said one doesn't. The
only people the city gives parking permits to are production
companies shooting full length motion pictures and utility
companies like Con Ed or AT&T. So that day he went to the
stationery store and changed our company letterhead from
Kenneth Cole, Inc. to Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. and the
next day Kenneth Cole applied for a permit to shoot a full
length film entitled "The Birth of a Shoe Company."
With Kenneth Cole Productions painted on the side of the
truck, we parked at 1370 6th Avenue, across from the New York
Hilton, the day of shoe show. We opened for business with a
fully furnished 40 ft trailer, a director (Sometimes there was
film in the camera, sometimes there wasn't), models as
actresses, and two of New York's finest, compliments of Mayor
Koch, as our doormen. We sold 40 thousand pairs of shoes in
two and a half days (the entire available production) and we
were off and running.
To this day the company is still named Kenneth Cole
Productions, Inc. and serves as a reminder to the importance
of resourcefulness and innovative problem solving.
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Lambertson Truex, the American accessories house is known for
its contemporary vision of classic luxury. Founded seven years
ago by Richard Lambertson and John Truex; the company has
quickly established itself as one of fashion's most original
and authentic new voices. Its innovative designs, exquisite
materials, and commitment to fine craftsmanship, have won a
loyal following in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
Following the success of its bags, Lambertson Truex launched a
women's shoe line; followed by small leather goods, gloves,
and belts for women. Due in part to the success of the women's
line, the company then launched the same assortment of
accessories for men.
At the heart of Lambertson Truex, lies a fresh interpretation
of authentic American elegance. The signature pieces: soft,
structured handbags, carry-all totes, and slim clutch bags
express Lambertson Truex's distinctive vision. The designs are
concise and executed with warmth, integrity, and an
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Based in Paris, Longchamp was founded in 1948 by Jean
Cassegrain. Originally founded as a smoking-pipe covering
manufacturer, Longchamp soon expanded to include more
accessories for smokers. In 1957, Longchamp moved into a
factory, uniting craftspeople and workers under one roof.
Through the 60s and 70s Longchamp extended the line to include
accessories such as lambskin goods, leather travel bags, as
well as canvas and nylon travel bags. At the beginning of the
1980s, Longchamp expanded again with the first Longchamp
retail boutiques in Hong Kong, Japan, Germany and Belgium.
As the Longchamp name spread and grew a reputation for quality
and innovation, Jean Cassegrain's son Philippe took the family
business's helm and helped Longchamp to establish its first
Parisian store. In competition with Hermes, Chanel and other
more established design houses, Longchamp remained solely
accessories-based and made its mark in the accessories
By 1990, Longchamp had grown yet again to include gloves and
belts as well as silk scarves and men's ties and cravats. In
1993, Longchamp launched its Le Pliage line, a foldable,
convertible and more affordable handbag line manufactured with
nylon and leather. In 1999, Longchamp marked its territory on
the international luxury scene by opening premier luxury
boutiques in the fashion districts of Paris, Tokyo and New
Longchamp Le Pliage - Pliage means "fold or bend" in French
and boy, does this bag bend and fold! It is incredibly
difficult to explain this convertible bag, which is
Longchamp's premiere line. The folded-up version is smaller
and because of an incredibly innovative design and an
unbelievably brilliant idea, it is impossible to tell where
the folding or affixing occurs. The Longchamp Pliage
collection has tons of bright colors to choose from and can be
a big tote or a small handbag. The handbags themselves, folded
or unfolded, are great shapes, easy to wear and are definitely
chic. Really, it's two bags in one and two bags for the price
Longchamp Galatee Handbag - More modern and sophisticated than
the Le Pliage line, Longchamp does something a little
different than the rest with the Galatee handbag. In shining
red split-cowhide leather, this bag is sleek and eye-catching.
It is branded with six large silver Longchamp embossed studs
on each side. The dual handles are riveted by two more silver
Longchamp embossed studs. The simple yet modern look of the
Galatee from Longchamp makes it easy to carry for day or
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Louis Vuitton burns all their left over
Louis Vuitton handbags and accessories. So you will not find
new authentic Louis Vuitton products at discount online or
anywhere. They only place to find discount Louis Vuitton is at
an Consignment/Resale store. If you're lucky you will come
across a slightly used Louis Vuitton at a great bargain. But
any online store selling brand new is not an authorized dealer
Be aware of shopping online for authentic Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton Handbags exclusively at eLuxury.com
The name of Louis Vuitton has been synonymous with the
manufacture of high quality luggage, travel and leather items
since 1854. Louis Vuitton is a subsidiary of LVMH, the first
global group to specialize in prestigious luxury products.
Since 1998, Louis Vuitton has diversified into ready-to-wear
fashion and shoes with resounding success. From the humble
origins as a trunkmaker, Louis Vuitton has always been a
trendsetter, progressively developing a range of luxury
products consistent with the brand's values. In 1998 when Marc
Jacobs joined the firm as Artistic Director, this creativity
entered an exciting new realm. In 1987 Louis Vuitton handbags
became a subsidiary of LVMH, the world's leading luxury goods
group. Louis Vitton has taken full advantage of the many
synergistic relationships generated within the group, all the
while retaining their identity and remaining faithful to their
distinctive difference. Visit eLuxury.com today - it's the
only place online you'll find authentic Louis Vuitton Purses &
Handbags, including the cherry, speedy, & theda. buy authentic
Louis Vuitton Handbags Official site: www.vuitton.com
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Louis Vuitton (August 4, 1821-February 27, 1892) was a
luggage-maker and luggage-designer in Paris in the mid-late
1800's. More than a century later, Vuitton's handbags and
luggage are now a status symbol around the world and are often
looked to in the world of fashion. The Louis Vuitton "LV"
Monogram design can be considered the very first "designer
label" on a product (first in the contemporary sense), as it
was created in 1896 with the intent of preventing
Vuitton was born in Cons-le-Sannier, France. He moved from his
hometown of Anchay, Jura, France in 1835 at the age of
fourteen. Two years later, he arrived in Paris and started
working as an apprentice for trunk-maker and
packing-case-maker Monsieur Marechal.
The Louis Vuitton Company
Early Days (1854-1892)
When Vuitton opened his first store in Paris in 1854, he began
by selling flat-topped trunks that were lightweight and
airtight, and were bought by France's Empress Eugénie in its
first year of sale. His first piece was the grey Trianon
canvas flat trunk. Vuitton was the first trunk-maker to create
a flat-topped trunk or an airtight trunk. (All trunks before
this had rounded tops for water to run off, and thus could not
be stacked.) Surprisingly, the Monogram Canvas design was not
created until after Louis Vuitton's death; it was created by
his son, Georges.
1854 - Vuitton opened his first store in Paris on Rue Nueve
des Capucines, founding Louis Vuitton Malletier ("Louis
1860 - Vuitton opened a larger factory in Asnières-sur-Seine
to accommodate increased demand.
1867 - Vuitton entered the Universal Exhibition at the World's
Fair in Paris, winning the bronze medal.
1872 - Creation of the red and beige striped canvas
1876 - Creation of the wardrobe trunk, which contained a rail
and small drawers for storing clothing.
1880 - Georges gets married and (on the same day) is given
control of the business.
1883 - Georges' son Gaston-Louis is born.
1885 - The first Louis Vuitton store in London opens.
1888 - The Damier Canvas pattern is created by Louis Vuitton
in collaboration with Georges, and bears a logo that reads
"marquee L. Vuitton déposée" (which literally means "mark L.
Vuitton deposited" or roughly "L. Vuitton trademark").
1889 - Vuitton wins the gold medal at the World's Fair in
1892 - Vuitton dies; the Vuitton company begins selling
Golden Age of Louis Vuitton (1893-1936)
After Vuitton's death, Georges made Louis Vuitton a worldwide
1893 - Georges displays Vuitton products at the World's Fair
1894 - Georges publishes his book "Le Voyage".
1896 - Georges designs the 'Monogram Canvas' (shown to the
right). It came to be called 'Monogram Canvas;' its graphic
symbols were based on the trend for Japanese/Oriental designs
in the late Victorian Period. This can be considered the first
"designer logo", since Georges was driven to create this
pattern to prevent further copying of Vuitton patterns
(counterfeiting had already begun by this point). Georges then
sailed to the United States, in which he toured various cities
such as New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. He sold Vuitton
products during the visit.
1899 - Georges exhibited Vuitton products at the maiden Paris
1900 - Georges Vuitton was given the honor to set up the
"Travel Items and Leather Goods" section of the 1900 Paris
World Fair. 1901 - the Louis Vuitton Company introduced the
'Steamer Bag', a small handbag to be kept inside Vuitton
luggage trunks. 1904 - Georges chaired the jury for the St.
Louis World Fair. In the same year, the Louis Vuitton company
introduced a new line of trunks that have special compartments
for items such as perfumes, clothing, and other goods.
1906 - Georges' son Gaston-Louis married Renee Versille and
Louis Vuitton introduces trunks for automobiles.
1914 - The Louis Vuitton Building opens in Champs-Elysees. The
building was the largest travel-goods store in the world at
that time. Store locations open in New York, Bombay,
Washington, London, Alexandria and Buenos Aires as World War I
1924 - Only eight years after the end of World War I, the 'Keepall'
is invented. This bag foreran the duffel bag in a travel bag
for light travel to keep necessities in.
1929 - The seventy-fifth anniversary of Louis Vuitton, a
toiletry case is introduced specifically for opera singer
Marthe Chenal. It could fit bottles, brushes, mirrors, powder
boxes and more toiletries.
1931 - Louis Vuitton introduced exotic bags such as a handbag
of crocodile skin, as well as elephant hide handbags for the
1932 - Louis Vuitton introduced the Nóe bag. This bag was made
for champagne vinter to transport bottles.
1933 - The Louis Vuitton Speedy bag was introduced.
1936 - The golden age of Louis Vuitton ends as Georges Vuitton
passes away. Estimates attribute Georges Vuitton with over 700
new Vuitton designs. Gaston-Louis Vuitton assumes control of
the company. The secretary trunk is introduced for Leopold
Stokowski, a conductor.
Corporate Age of Louis Vuitton (1937 - Present Day)
Louis Vuitton store in Omotesando, TokyoA recent book by
Stephanie Bonvincini, Louis Vuitton, A French Saga, has made
allegations about Louis Vuitton's links with the Vichy regime
and the subsequent Nazi occupation of France in the second
1946 - Louis Vuitton decides to go toward other industries
instead of laying off workers in the post-war situation.
1951 - Louis Vuitton supplies all the travel items for
President Auriol of France's tour of America after World War
1959 - New innovations in the treatment of canvas allow more
bags to be made, and Louis Vuitton releases a set of Monogram
1959 to 1965 - 25 new models of travel items were introduced
each year; a total of 175 new travel items introduced.
1968 - A Louis Vuitton sales office opens in Tokyo, Japan.
1969 - Gaston-Louis Vuitton dies.
1977 - The Louis Vuitton SA holding company was created.
1978 - Louis Vuitton stores open in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan.
1983 - Louis Vuitton teams up with the America's Cup sailing
race to form the Louis Vuitton Cup for Sailing. The Louis
Vuitton Cup is an elimination round in which the winner sails
against the America's Cup winner from the previous year for
the America's Cup.
1984 - The first store in South Korea opens in Seoul.
1985 - The Epi Leather line is introduced.
1987 - Louis Vuitton and Moet-Hennessey merge to form LVMH
Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton. The group continues to own the
Louis Vuitton company and brand.
1988 - The Louis Vuitton Classic Annual Automobile Race is
launched in Paris, France.
1992 - A Louis Vuitton store opens in Beijing, China.
1993 - LVMH launches the Taiga line, a luggage and briefcase
black leather line for men.
1996 - The centennial of the Monogram Canvas occurs and LVMH
spotlights various designers.
1997 - LVMH launches a line of pens.
1998 - LVMH adds Marc Jacobs, who designs the Monogram Vernis
line, and LVMH launches a line of travel guides to major
cities around the world.
2001 - LVMH creates the Graffiti line and a Louis Vuitton
charm bracelet is released.
2002 - LVMH releases a Louis Vuitton line of watches.
2003 - Takashi Murakami & Marc Jacobs launch the Cherry
Blossom Limited Edition, Multicolore and Eye Love lines.
2004 - Louis Vuitton opens stores in New Delhi, India and
2005 - Artist Vanessa Beecroft creates performance for new
store in Paris.
2006 - Opens stores in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
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Lulu Guinness is in love with the fifties — the styles, the
home décor, the colors, the ultra-feminine fashions. But she’s
also quite adept at putting a modern spin on old classics. As
she says, “You can’t just look like you are recreating the
past, you’ve got to put a modern edge on things.” And she
does. Her handbags are blasts from the past, with a nod to
today’s fashion “must haves.”
Known for her
very girlie, whimsically luxe handbags, Lulu Guinness
creations are already considered quite the collectible
accessory. A sensation in Europe, Japan and many exclusive
stores and specialty boutiques including Bergdorf Goodman’s,
Neiman-Marcus, Nordstrom, Scoop (New York) and Tracey Ross in
Los Angeles, her handbags generally feature clean and modern
designs with delicate hand beading or decorated in vintage
cloth roses. Her most famous creations, the Rose Florist
Basket and Violet Hanging Basket are considered accessory
classics, and are now in the permanent fashion collection in
the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
“fairy god-mother of girlie handbags” Lulu Guinness has
designed handbags and evening clutches (in the shapes of
exquisitely detailed fans) for such noteworthy celebrities as
Liz Hurley, Minnie Driver, Madonna and Judi Dench, for whom
she designed evening bags for the ’98 and ’99 Academy Awards.
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