Kate Spade New York was launched in January 1993, as a joint venture between Kate and Andy Spade, then soon to be married. She was an accessories editor Mademoiselle turned designer, he was an editor; their view on fashion could be described as “editorial”. The brand has always had a voice and a sense of humor, coupled with a purpose. The rectangular nylon Sam bag that made the company famous answered a gap in the market for something affordable and functional, yet chic. It wasn’t long before Kate Spade New York became a lifestyle brand known for its sophistication, wit and color.
Tapestry, Inc. acquired the brand in 2017 and a few days ago revealed the names of its latest creative directors, industry veterans Tom Mora and Jennifer Lyu. The duo held their first presentation at Three World Trade Center and the magnificent view underscored the brand’s association with the city. The ensemble and the collection referred to nature. Surrounded by a verdant ‘lawn’, the models braved a carefully designed shower to fall alongside rather than on them.
Color and charm were the takeaways here. Lyu’s children’s bath toy was one of the inspirations for a cloud bag with rain fringe that couldn’t be more Instagram-friendly, and was shown with a cardigan jacket and jeans. Great attention has been paid to detail and finishing, and the outfits have been expertly crafted. A floral dress, for example, was paired with matching rain boots.
As Kate Spade New York celebrates its 30th anniversary and Mora and Lyu build on the brand’s heritage, it makes sense that there’s a retro feel to the clothes. Silhouettes from the 50s and 60s predominated, adapted for today. This vision of femininity, as pretty as it is, is also sugary, somewhat formulaic and assumes – despite the rain gear – a festive attitude and blue skies, leaving little room for the expression of a range of emotions. .
But for those looking to escape to a perfect Instagram world, this collection comes in spades, just like the designers’ stated framework. “Our favorite adventures happen when we least expect it. Like getting caught in the rain. On the one hand, it’s a misadventure. show notes. Flexibility and the ability to see things from different angles are qualities that are sorely lacking in the world right now. They are what Kate and Andy Spade brought to the brand decades ago, and Mora and Lyu aim to push forward today come rain or shine.