Accessories to Her Expanding Empire With Andy at work in a more masculine Spade showroom across the hall, and her cotton puff white Maltese terrier, Henry, scurrying around at her feet, everything seems perfect in Kate's world.
Well, almost everything. Outside, just a few blocks away from company headquarters, street vendors are hawking Kate Spade look alike bags for $20, with a convincing version of her signature labels affixed squarely on the fronts. The fakes have so saturated the streets of New York, Los Angeles and other big cities that some fashion types have started to shy away from the brand. "It's natural to be upset by it," Spade says, pouring herself a glass of water from a chunky cheap kate spade canada glass pitcher. "It's like stealing. And I think you can always look back and say, 'We should have been more aggressive.' But our focus has been on design. You have to make sure you don't take your eye off what's important. All you can really do is move forward and hope that the customer knows the difference." The company has a full time staffer devoted to combating counterfeiters, find kate spade outlet and customers often call or e mail to report offenders, she added. "I still consider Kate Spade a prestigious label, but they have to work hard. Anything that gets too kate spade handbags outlet diluted loses its exclusivity," said Marie Claire editor in chief Lesley Jane Seymour, who just retired a black leather Kate Spade tote she carried all summer. "I don't think anyone looks at her differently because of the counterfeiting." Neiman Marcus fashion director Joan Kaner agrees. "If someone wants the original, they're not going to settle for the second best or the third best. Everyone has a counterfeit problem right now Burberry, Tod's. Kate Spade." Revenues of Kate Spade Inc. have continued to rise every year, despite the counterfeiting. So what's next for the designer? Her spring collection (about $150 to $525) includes a boxy straw bag with leather handles and fold kate spade boutique over top flaps inspired by the tourist bags sold on the streets in Mexico, and a subtle, yellow and brown striped fabric tote modeled after a swatch Spade picked up at one of her frequent flea market excursions. There's also a tote emblazoned with black and white drawings by New Yorker illustrator Maira Kalman, and a modern, rectangular calfskin carryall with a hole cut out for a handle. "Andy kept asking me what I was going to do with the holes," Spade says, fluffing her samples, some of which are fixed with last minute paper mock ups. "He said, 'Even Dunkin' Donuts figured out what to do with the holes.' He wanted to make key chains out of them. So we did, and buyers have gone crazy for them!" She would also like to do cosmetics.
But what people really seem to want is for her to start her own family, complete with all the requisite kiddie accessories. She hopes to soon. Forget the Tenenbaums and the Lawrences; bring on the Spades.
Prev: what stores sell kate spade purses
Next: buy kate spade