A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but does the same go for an internationally renowned fashion designer who decides to sell her wares under a different moniker?
Women’s Wear Daily reported that Kate Spade, of the eponymous brand’s fame, is branching out with her husband to launch a new line of handbags and designer footwear. However, the brand Spade named after herself is still going strong, so she had no choice but to set the power of name recognition aside and start a new line she decided to call Frances Valentine.
Andy Spade, Kate’s husband, told WWD that the new name still draws upon some of the elements that made the original brand so successful.
“There were a lot of things we made up and we thought that wasn’t feeling right,” Andy Spade told WWD. “A person’s name felt like this thing that was part of us, that connection, something real.”
Another phrase that the Spades said the new brand will rally around is “simply modern.” This aesthetic will guide everything from the fundamental design philosophy of its products to the emotions it seeks to evoke in shoppers. In fact, Andy explained that fostering that unique connection to a brand is more important than ever now that high fashion has become a crowded space in retail.
“When [the original Kate Spade] came out, there were only like five accessories houses — Prada, Coach was the biggest American,” Andy Spade told WWD. “We were the first in America to work with nylon. We got lucky.”
Frances Valentine is scheduled for a launch in spring 2016, which gives the Spades plenty of time to drum up not only name recognition for their new product line, but also consumer opinions on its perceived value. If they can turn Frances Valentine from a phrase to an industry buzzword over the next few months, customers might be lining up outside boutiques once the spring thaw comes.
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