- Kristopher Fraser |
New York - Kate Spade & Co. is attempting to grow in the personalized accessories market. The company has added the intellectual property and related business assets of the Bag Bar business from D.H. Deesigns LLC, the company owned by Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger, wife to American fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger.
The model for Bag Bar is that customers get to pick their accessories then add smaller interchangeable accessories and covers to the handbag.
The price that Kate Spade & Co. paid to acquire Bag Bar has not been disclosed.
In 2017, select Kate Spade bags will begin incorporating Bag Bar's technology and offer customization for a number of their bags. The idea is that Kate Spade customers will get to add more of their personal tastes to the handbags.
Mary Beech, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Kate Spade, told WWD, “The acquisition of Bag Bar’s customization system strengthens Kate Spade New York’s core handbag business, allowing us to respond to the desires of our loyal customers as well as new ones and offer an innovative, personalized way to customize their handbags.”
Dee Ocleppo sells Bag Bar to Kate Spade & Co.
Currently, Kate Spade & Co. has not given any specifics about what bags and materials will be offered or what the price points will be, but the options of changing the bags based on fabrics, colors, and day-to-night options will be available.
Kate Spade already has other personalized fashion options on the market. For example, the brand has initial and zodiac sign jewelry, initial notebooks, stationery, and tumblers all available for customization.
Hilfiger decided to sell Bag Bar last summer after a discussion she had with Gilbert Harrison, founder and chairman of Financo Inc. She explained the concept of Bag Bar to him, and during her discussion with him she realized the concept would take her years to grow, whereas Kate Spade could do the same thing much faster. She turned over Bag Bag to Kate Spade with the belief they'd be able to take the concept to the next level.
When Hilfiger developed the Bag Bar concept, the options offered for customization included details like fringe, grommets, ruffles, suede, antelope, and ostrich, as well as small accessorizing options like bag hooks, leather tags, key chains, and bag charms. Price points were from 295 dollars to 695 dollars, with the accessorizing options starting at 45 dollars and the covers beginning at 150 dollars.
Hilfiger won't be involved with Bag Bar or Kate Spade, but instead will be focusing on her own line of luxury handbags that are designed from materials like fur, leather, and python. While she may no longer be focused on Bag Bar, the growth of her own handbag like remains a top priority for her.