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Kate Spade fashions home line

Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, November 5, 2001

The home textiles arena will soon have another popular fashion icon in its midst as Kate Spade announced she will soon unveil her own signature collection of home goods.

Long known around the world for her popular fashion accessories, especially her handbags, Spade joins Tommy Hilfiger, Laura Ashley, Ralph Lauren Donna Karan and Calvin Klein, and others, as fashion designers seeking to make their mark in the home textiles world.

"It's an obvious extension for me," Spade told Home Textiles Today about her reasons for extending the product base, which currently includes handbags, shoes and eyeglasses and which will soon welcome a line of beauty products. "It's something that feels consistent with what we do."

While many felt that Spade should expand her name more rapidly into other areas of furnishings, she said the move to get bigger is carefully considered and isn't taken until "we feel really comfortable with it." According to Spade, bedding, wallcoverings, interior fabrics and upholstery will make up her initial foray into consumer's homes with lighting, tabletop, giftware and other areas to follow. All of the products will be designed by Spade with the help of design services company Platform, with which the New York-based kate spade company has joined forces in order to find the right manufacturing partner as well as manage licensing and formulate strategy. Also based here, Platform is headed by its ceo, Troy Halterman, and creative director, Stephen Werther, who have established their credentials in home textiles through Halterman's design store, Troy, and Werther's experience as former president of Ralph Lauren Home. Spade said it was that knowledge of home textiles that made doing business with Platform "feel like a good thing."

"The consumer really gets [the idea] of kate spade home," said Werther. "There's a connection Kate makes with women that's really unparalleled in the industry, and we think will really make an impact in the home."

Thanks to Spade's cross-generational and demographic appeal, Werther added, "We expect it to be substantial and important and different."

Although the line is still in its conceptual stages, Spade said it will reflect her signature design style of being clean and crisp with interesting design elements without being overly done in texture or color. "Simple, but with a point of interest and not tricky" is how Spade described the style which adorns her products now and which will be in evidence on the home line. Also reflecting her design style, the line will stay away from heavy and dark fabrics and colors.

"There are so many ways to look at a room," Spade said. "To me, your room is a mood, and when you walk into it, you should be able to say 'Ooh, this is great.' "

The kate spade home line, like its fashion accessory cousins, Spade said, will be aimed at better department stores and small, specialty boutiques.

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