Wednesday, March 24, 2010

An Interview with Kate Spade


Creative Fashion was very lucky to have the chance to interview Kate Spade, the fashion designer behind the chic handbags - Kate Spade brand.

Young people aspiring to break into the fashion world as fashion designers usually start with going to fashion school. How has your start been different?

I think that my journey to fashion designing was different in a way that I did not go to fashion school. I arrived in New York in 1986 from Kansas City and was working as accessories editor for Mademoiselle Magazine. While working at Mademoiselle I noticed that the market lacked stylish and sensible handbags, so I decided to create my own.

How exactly did you start designing your bags and how did you market them?

I started designing my handbags in my apartment and I had six samples made in satin-finished nylon. I displayed them at trade shows but they went unnoticed at first. Later I started getting orders from some of the leading stores Fred Segal, Bergdorf Goodman. I realized then that my bags were being noticed by the fashion world.

What do you think made your bags famous and how are they different from other designers’ bags?

I created my bags from the notion of developing a well-edited line of fashionable, but not "trendy" handbags. By designing styles that will be as relevant tomorrow as they are today, my brand has established itself as a modern classic. The colors and material are modern and chic and the designs are very eye catching. The bags consistently maintain a high level of quality at a palatable price.

Right now Kate Spade bags are being distributed around the world. But where did you first open your shop?

The first shop was opened in New York City’s Soho in 1996. Kate Spade then opened its doors in Boston in 1998. Boutiques were opened in Chicago, San Francisco, Greenwich, Connecticut and Manhasset, Long Island in 2000. And it’s true; Kate Spade bags are now available almost anywhere with 46 boutiques in the United States, 32 in Japan, 6 in Hong Kong, and 4 in the Philippines as well as 2 in Jakarta.

No matter how high-end or how functional a product is, there would always be criticisms. In what aspect was Kate Spade ever criticized?

Well, at one point it was pointed out that Kate Spade bags were easy to fake. But now the immense selection would even take fake handbag makers ages to replicate.

How important are handbags as accessory for women in your opinion?

I believe that accessories should bring color and texture to an every day wardrobe based on each individual's sense of style. a handbag is only one item to be worn with a complete outfit. Add a peony pink leather handbag to a charcoal gray suit, for instance, and the impact is chic with a touch of wit. In the same way that men wear ties to add personality to their clothing, so too should women wear their accessories.