ALERT — this is not a drill! Kate Spade New York just launched one of its two-day surprise sales, where everything is up to 75 percent off — and it's all perfect for spring and summer. (Seriously, there's an ice cream cone–shaped wristlet.) Scroll to see Stylish editors' top 13 picks!
Kate Spade New York Foster Court Kirk
Kate Spade New York Arbour Hill Alston
Kate Spade New York Kirk Park Saffiano Lacey
Kate Spade New York Eat Cake for Breakfast Metro Watch
Kate Spade New York Rose-Colored Glasses Rose Intarsia Sweater
It’s a bag-eat-bag world.
Kate Spade is shopping for a potential buyer after an activist investor prodded the handbag maker, suggesting that another management team could squeeze more growth out of the brand, according to the Wall Street Journal.
On Wednesday, Kate Spade shares jumped 23 percent to $17.86 on reports that it was considering a sale.
Just six weeks ago, hedge fund Caerus Investors sent a letter to Kate Spade’s board urging it to consider a sale. The fund, which manages roughly $250 million and counts the accessories label as one of its top investments, has been invested in Kate Spade since 2009 when it was owned by Liz Claiborne.
Caerus argued that the company would be better off under the control of a global player that could help it expand in the US and abroad.
“The board deserved a wake-up call to come to its senses and realize there are other paths to realizing value,” Ward Davis of Caerus told The Post.
Since the letter was sent, Davis said that he and his colleague Brian Agnew have had a “constructive dialogue with key members of the board.”
“If Kate Spade is truly contemplating a process to explore alternatives or a sale, Caerus would support that,” Davis and Agnew told The Post, declining to confirm any knowledge of the reported deal talks.
Reps for Kate Spade did not immediately respond to requests to comment.
Kate Spade lowers 2016 forecast, stock drops 18%Michael Kors and Coach are among the most obvious potential buyers, industry experts say.
“Kate Spade is a strong brand that should be larger, and the notion of how to become larger is a fair question,” says Instinet retail analyst Simeon Siegel.
Kate Spade has long been a favorite among hedge fund investors. Jana Partners, Citadel, AQR, Balyasny and Point72 each have roughly 1 percent stakes in the company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“The product resonates very strongly,” Siegel said, pointing to a Kate Spade collaboration with Everpurse last year on a bag that charges an iPhone. It sold out.
Kate Spade’s stock has been choppy, falling 30 percent since July compared with an 8 percent rise in the S&P 500, Wells Fargo analyst Ike Boruchow pointed out in a Wednesday research note.
Kate Spade has become pretty well-known for her unusual designs. They typically come in collections inspired by a given theme, where each piece is different but related to that theme. The pieces are playful and unique, sometimes even taking on the shape of the object it is trying to portray. But as much as I love the idea of a clutch shaped like a gnome, sometimes you want your playful piece to be somewhat practical. That is why I like the Kate Spade New York Ice Cream Francis Tote!
This particular piece is actually part of the Flavor of the Month collection, which depicts what I can only refer to as “old fashioned” fun. The collection features bags that resemble a carousel, a bag of peanuts, a theater or carnival ticket, and an ice cream truck. All of these pieces are clutch-sized and are made to look like these objects. The Francis Tote in this collection, however, is just that… a tote. It has a fun, ice cream and Popsicle print that reminds me a little bit of the prints Dooney and Bourke used to do. I really like the colors and, despite the brightness, I think this piece would be practical for a casual summer day.
With spring just around the corner, bring on the colorful handbag trends. I am so excited for spring and even more excited for all of the spring colors. As we learned in my first post in this series (Spring Color Trends: Petal Pinks), Easter egg colored handbags are popping up everywhere and they are a great way to welcome spring. So what’s next? When I think of spring, I think of many things including flowers. However I also think of something that some people may not associate with spring — clear blue skies. There is just something about a spring sky that makes me feel connected with the world around me. It is sort of serene in a way. It makes sense to me then that a light blue handbag would have that same calming effect. In fact, I know it does! That is why I am showcasing some lovely baby blues here. You know, to provide you with a little inspiration.
Botkier Trigger Saddle Bag in Sky
Botkier is not a designer that I often associate with pastels. But the Trigger Saddle Bag sure does look inviting in this lovely shade of blue! I love the color and the complimenting silver tone hardware.
The saddle-shaped Botkier shoulder bag in glazed leather with polished studs. Long pulls hang from the magnetic front flap, and a slim pocket outfits the back. Wraparound zip at the gusset. Lined, 2-pocket interior. Adjustable shoulder strap. $248
Rebecca Minkoff Micro Perry Satchel in Bleached Blue
Rebecca Minkoff does many colors well. Pastels though, have always been one of my favorites. They always look good on Rebecca Minkoff styles though and light blue is no exception.
Zips adjust the volume of this scaled-down Rebecca Minkoff satchel rendered in pebbled leather. Concealed magnets secure the side pockets, and the top zip opens to a lined, 4-pocket interior. Double handles and optional, adjustable shoulder strap. $325
MICHAEL Michael Kors Jet Set Multifunction Tote in Sky
Pastels do not have to come on small handbags. They look great on larger styles too, especially baby blue. It is such a versatile color, it works with more conspicuous styles like this tote.
A large, versatile MICHAEL Michael Kors tote in saffiano leather. The top zip opens to a logo-lined interior with 6 pockets and a middle zip compartment. Adjustable handles. $208
Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy is all about the combination of high fashion, street style and gothic romanticism. Since he took over as Creative Director in 2005 he’s transformed the label in his image, garnered a coterie of famous friends and turned out collections filled with must-have items. Case in point: the Antigona handbag. “Launched in 2011, Riccardo Tisci designed this duffle to mimic the Givenchy aesthetic: clean design with strong lines and geometric ornamentation,” says Senior Director of Authentication Graham Wetzbarger. “Knowing his customers’ lifestyle, Tisci designed this bag to be extremely functional and durable.”
Sleek but roomy enough in its larger sizes to fit all of your essentials, the Antigona is coveted by street style stars and celebrities. Often seen on the arms of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Kate Moss, Olivia Palermo and most Kardashians, it’s something of an It bag equalizer — edgy but very pulled together. It comes in three sizes — Mini, Small and Medium — and is available in a long list of colorways, prints, exotic skins and more, so while the design is iconic, you can choose a version that fits your personal style. As is often the case with highly sought-after handbags, fake versions abound, so it’s important to know the signs of an authentic Antigona. Here, Wetzbarger breaks down the telltale signs of the real thing.
1. Givenchy Antigona Materials & Construction
“Givenchy uses various leathers from polished cowhide to goat, but it should always be sturdy and structured, which keeps the bag from losing its shape,” says Wetzbarger. “While rigid, it should still have a smooth, luxurious hand, and appear supple rather than plasticy. The triangular leather logo detail is padded with batting so it should be convex and puffy, not flat. It should also be firmly affixed without any gaps. Each letter should be separate in the Givenchy logo and very tightly affized to the bag. If you examine closely, you should see that they are very cleanly finished with no rough or raw edges.”
On the bottom of the bag, you should find ‘feet’ consisting of two panels created from stacked layers of leather that are glued together and stitched down. “Inspect these carefully,” warns Wetzbarger. “Some fakes will just have stitching in the shape of these panels.” An authentic Antigona is lined with solid cotton twill and should match the color of the leather on other interior details like the label and zipper pocket. “While not fixed to the interior with adhesive, the lining is well-constructed to fit perfectly inside the dimensions of the handbag. It should not be loose or bunchy and should have one center seam across the bottom,” Wetzbarger says.
“If you have the original dustbag, it should read ‘Givenchy’ or ‘Givenchy Paris’ on white cotton twill fabric. It should have a crisp screen print with well-defined lines and edges, not bubbles or raised areas of ink.”
2. Givenchy Antigona Brand Stamping & Serial Numbers
The date code format used on Givenchy Antigona handbags follows LVMH standards. According to Wetzbarger: “The first two characters denote the location at which the bag was manufactured, and are followed by four numbers; the first and third digits represent the week and the second and fourth represent the year in which the bag was made.”
“3C” denotes the workshop location. This Antigona was made in the twelfth week of 2012.
He suggests cross referencing your date code with the seasonal specifics of you Antigona. “While some colors like black are made every season,” he says, “certain colorways are season-specific, so you can check to see if particular bags are from the correct year.” In fact, some fake date codes are so wrong that they indicate that the bag was made in a year prior to the Antigona’s debut, or a year in the future. “FW 2011 is the season the Antigona premiered, so your date code should fall between then and now,” notes Wetzbarger.
3. Givenchy Antigona Hardware
Handbag aficionados will be familiar with zipper brands such as Riri and Lampo, however the Givenchy Antigona features an oversized zipper made by Raccagni. “Within roughly the past year however, Givenchy has begun using zippers branded with their own logo,” Wetzbarger explains.
The geometric shape of the bag is echoed in both the unique pyramid-shaped leather zipper pull and strap hardware; the latter should be emblazoned with the Givenchy logo on one side of the D-Ring. Wetzbarger suggests inspecting the color of the hardware which should be “silver or very light gold in color, but nothing brassy.”
BY JODY HUME
Designer Phoebe Philo has a penchant for designing It bags. At the helm of Céline, she’s breathed new life into the once flagging house with designs that have generated waitlists around the world. The first Céline It bag was the Luggage Tote, and was soon followed by other popular designs like the Trapeze, Phantom, Trio, Box and Edge bags.
As Philo remarks of the women who are fans of her designs, “They are all different, but with the common thread of an appreciation for clothes that suggest something new but made to last far beyond fast-trend fashion.” While Céline’s bags appeal to lovers of minimalism with their clean lines, sleek colorblocking and lack of obvious logos, they are also instantly recognizable to those in the know. The popular flared gusset designs of Philo’s bags for Céline have spawned lookalikes from both luxury and contemporary brands across the industry, so taking a close and careful look at Céline handbags to ensure their authenticity is important.
When inspecting Céline, there are several telltale signs of an item’s authenticity.
1. Heat Stamping
On a Mini Luggage Tote, the exterior Céline logo should have an accent aigu, or right-pointing accent, above the first “e,” and “Paris” printed beneath. The font should not look thick and blurry, nor thin and faint. The interior label will have “Made In Italy” printed in caps to the right. Note that on different size totes, the labels will differ. On Nano Luggage Totes, the logo is embossed on a leather tab.
2. Serial Number
In most Céline bags, you’ll find a leather serial number tab. The embossed numbers are not unique and can be repeated. They should always follow this format: one letter, two letters, four numbers. Be wary of serial numbers beginning in “S-GA” as counterfeiters often use this prefix. The corners of the rectangular tab are normally clipped at clean right angles. Neither the tab nor the corners should ever be curved.
Unlike many other fashion houses, Céline does not use brand name zippers in their bags. The backs should be plain and unmarked. However, the size of the zipper is often listed on the end, i.e. the number eight. On Luggage Totes, the zippers should have an antiqued finish and should never be brassy or shiny. The D-Rings on the zippers should be large enough to leave space on either side of the leather pull.
Céline always uses high-quality, sturdy leather on their handbags, which lends to their hefty weight. Smooth calfskin Luggage Totes will have matching leather linings. Drummed or pebbled leather bags will be lined in microsuede. The Céline Trio is quite a versatile accessory, as it can be separated into three different bags. If you want, you can even mix and match different colors.
Written by TAYLOR BRYANT
Remember back in November when we reported on Nail Inc.'s new spray-on nail polish and our entire office, along with the rest of the internet, proceeded to lose its freaking mind? Well, we didn't think it was possible, but Milk Makeup is now taking the craze to even wilder extremes with spray-on nail art.
The edgy new makeup brand, launched by Milk Studios, is releasing its own version of spray-can polish, along with a collection of nail stencils to help you create intricate designs, cool ombré effects, and even a French manicure (don't laugh, it's making a serious comeback), all with the aim of a nozzle and the press of a button.
The nail design renaissance is showing no signs of slowing down, which is why it makes perfect sense to speed the polishing process up. Milk Makeup is the self-professed friend of the "on-the-go" gal, and nothing says "get out the door" faster than an artsy manicure that you can apply in seconds.
We got our hands on a bottle before it hit the market, and are happy to report that it follows Milk's ethos. The pigment applies easily without any streaks or bubbles — something that has plagued even the most meticulous polisher. What's more is that it dries super fast and the excess pigment around your nails washes off easily with soap and water. (Full disclosure: you may need a Q-tip with some nail polish remover to get off some of the color that's super close to your nails.) Fun to use and basically fool-proof? We're sold.
The polish, priced at $12, is available for pre-sale today on Urban Outfitters. Until you can get your hands on a bottle, we suggest checking out the video below to tide you over.
Written by ERIN CUNNINGHAM
We're calling it now: The "Leonardo DiCaprio effect" is officially a thing.
On the heels of the 41-year-old actor's first Academy Award win, one item has gone viral and sold out completely — and we're not talking about Trefoils Girl Scout cookies.
In September, Vetements (a Kanye West favorite), known for its sartorial rule-breaking, showed a variation of its now-insanely-popular, super-long-sleeved sweatshirt with an image of young Leo and Kate from Titanic screen-printed on it. At the time, a nod to the '97 blockbuster may have seemed random. But, now that DiCaprio is making headlines (and rightfully so), the terry cloth hoodie seems like it hit shelves at just the right time.
Despite its $885 price tag, the item has sold out completely across the internet (on sites like SSENSE, MatchesFashion, La Garçonne, Dover Street Market, Antonioli, and Selfridges), and we're thinking his win has a little something to do with it. Though we haven't received official confirmation that this was the reason behind things (we'll update this spot when we do hear back), but we're betting the odds are likely. (Remember: The lengths fangirls will go to knows no bounds.)
If you're a die-hard DiCaprio fan hoping to get your hands on this Demna Gvasalia-designed piece, the slightly cheaper, hooded T-shirt version is still available on SSENSE in every size except large — though we're betting that stock won't be around for long. And for those who cannot. live. without. a sweatshirt emblazoned with Leo's young mug, there are a few overpriced options up for auction on eBay. One bit of advice: Once you get your hands on this inevitable collector's item, never let go.
Written by ANA COLON
Dolce & Gabbana has been mired in more than its fair share of controversy — yet it's still a bit surprising, and certainly disappointing, when this type of thing happens yet again. The Italian fashion house's latest misstep: a pair of pom-pom accented leather shoes available on its website dubbed the "slave sandal."
The four-figure footwear is a part of Dolce & Gabbana's spring '16 tourist-inspired collection, and the shoe's name has since been changed to "Decorative Flat Sandal." (You can see a screenshot of its cringe-y original classification here and below.) In the item's description, the sandals in question are called "Bianca flat sandals" — no mention of "slave." The same style is also available for pre-order at Moda Operandi and Saks Fifth Avenue, but neither retailer uses the word "slave" to describe the pair. Footwear Newsreports that the term is an outdated descriptor for a lace-up sandal silhouette, now more commonly referred to as gladiator.
We have reached out to Dolce & Gabbana for comment, and will update this story when we hear back.
The spring '16 collection, Dolce & Gabbana's site reads, is a "declaration of love to Italy, told through unique clothing and accessories on an imaginary journey through the wonders of this country." Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana's ode to Sicily (where Dolce is from) for spring '13 was also quite contentious: The brand sent a pair of "blackamoor" earrings down the runway — a decision that the designers went on to defend despite public complaint. There was a similar situation on the newsstand in 2011: Vogue Italia ran an editorial featuring oversized golden hoops it described as "slave earrings." The publication's editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani, later apologized, citing mistranslation.
Dolce & Gabbana has made a few relatively progressive moves over the past few months, following a series of missteps in the last couple of years (including the blackamoor earrings and the designers' very poorly received comments on same-sex couples having children through adoption and IVF). In January, the brand revealed its first collection of hijabs and abayas. Shortly after, Gabbana teased a capsule collection with the hashtag #DGFamily, depicting same-sex couples and their children on handbags and T-shirts.
As innocuous as the erstwhile name of a pair of sandals might seem, it's a stumble that, unfortunately, detracts from the sligthly more positive inroads D&G has made recently.
Women have abandoned a longtime wardrobe staple — and that's terrifying news for Michael Kors, Coach, and Kate Spade
In April, Elle writer Justine Harman spotted a classic, nylon box-shaped Kate Spade bag on eBay.
The bag, she noted, was knocked down from its original price of $250 to a staggeringly low $39.99. (That particular discounted bag has now been sold, but remaining "vintage" Kate Spade items are still marked down pretty low.)
While this discovery delighted some millennial women who grew up begging their parents for one of these handbags, others might have noticed that this dramatic price dip is indicative of something bigger: The designer handbag industry is losing its luster.
As with all trends, there's an ebb and flow. Not everything can stay relevant forever. Kate Spade has adjusted to a more colorful, bright, fun look, but the company's offshoots, Kate Spade Saturday, targeted towards millennials, and Jack Spade, which tapped into the men's industry, shuttered all their doors in the winter, The Wall Street Journal reported.
In April, Bloomberg noted that Michael Kors was the top handbag for teens, replacing Coach. Kate Spade was in third place.
But Michael Kors' sales growth has been eroding, and prospects do not look good for the brand.
The brand's inventory has risen, suggesting that the brand's products aren't flying off shelves.
FacebookMichael Kors rose to popularity because of its handbags.
It might be because the brand is too popular — or too widely purchased. This is in part due to the presence of outlets — which Michael Kors has aplenty — which can ultimately be brand killers. Outlets devalue a brand, encourage people to not buy at full price, and make luxury items too accessible.
Further, widespread popularity is the "kiss of death for trendy fashion brands, particularly those positioned in the up-market younger consumer sectors," industry expert Robin Lewis wrote on his blog. Lewis compares Michael Kors to Tommy Hilfiger, which reached its peak in the late 1990s.
Michael Kors is considered an aspirational brand, with consumers paying a premium for its label. Once everyone has the product, it is no longer considered cool.
Other brands that have experienced this phenomenon include Juicy Couture, Jordache, and Coach — which Michael Kors dethroned as the most popular high-end handbag brands for teens, as Bloomberg has reported.
But Coach's woes are undeniable. CNBC reported the bizarre disparity for Coach: Sales still dipped amid shares rising. On a recent earnings call, CEO Victor Luis attributed this to how the brand has been cutting back on flash sales.
Sweeping up shoe brand Stuart Weitzman at least helped slightly; "the acquisition of Stuart Weitzman in early May contributed $43 million to fourth-quarter and full-year revenue," CFO Jane Hamilton Nielsen said on the call.
But it might not just be handbags that are at a loss. This pattern is indicative of a much larger trend.
After all, millennials spend their money differently than the generations preceding them did. Old-school retailers like Gap have suffered compared to fast-fashion companies like Zara and H&M, which allure millennials with their quick turnaround and low-price. Traditional retail has been struggling as a result.
And those traditional retailers who attempt to cater to millennials instead of baby boomers or Gen Xers face huge possible risks: Millennials don't spend that much money as it is. Saddled with debt, this generation isn't spending money on luxury items. And by alienating consumers who do have money, retailers inadvertently put themselves in a precarious situation. Who will buy from them?
Hilary Stout illustrated this problem in The New York Times in June: "After all, the millennial generation has less wealth and more debt than other generations did at the same age, thanks to student loans and the lingering effects of the deep recession," she wrote.
And Forrester researchers highlighted in a study that baby boomers, between the ages of 51 and 69, are the "biggest spenders" because they have extra cash from decades of saving and investing — something millennials just can't afford.
Additionally, millennials are flat out not spending on apparel. A study by Morgan Stanley highlighted that millennials are instead choosing to spend money on expenses like rent, cellphones, and services.
Macy's CFO, Karen Hoguet, even blamed Netflix on the sales slumps. "I think part of that is the customers are buying other things, whether the electronics, cable services, Netflix, whatever," Hoguet said.
Ultimately, there's a limited market for selling clothing — let alone designer handbags.
The biggest threat to the industry could be "HENRYs" — a term luxury expert Pam Danziger coined, standing for "high earners not rich yet." These people make over $100,000, and, as she told Bloomberg, are "making very careful decisions" when it comes to spending. But because they're not picking up designer products, the luxury brands are feeling the burn.
"Today, those people feel decidedly middle class and not at all luxury class," Danziger told Marketplace.org.
Which begs the question — why buy luxury items? Especially when you can sweep your favorite items from the aughts on eBay for under $40.
Then again, while some of Kate Spade's bags are relics of the past on the internet, its more fashion-forward bags are thriving — proving that the handbag industry can, in fact, save itself from an ominous fate.
"In wholesale, our business was primarily driven by strong performance in handbags, with data showing a continuing increase in market share, representing a key opportunity for growth as we build on our still modest penetration of market share," CEO Craig Leavitt said on a recent earnings call for the company.