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Kate Spade — the person — is back in the design world. After announcing earlier this summer that she’ll be debuting a new accessories collection in time for the holidays, Spade has now unveiled the name of her new line: Frances Valentine.
Much like Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James, which was a combination of the actress’ grandparents’ names, Frances Valentine is also a family-inspired name.
“Frances is a longtime family name on my dad’s side. My grandfather, father, brother and my daughter’s name is Frances,” Kate explained to WWD of the new label co-founded by husband Andy Spade and Elyce Arons, who both helped build the Kate Spade brand. “And then Valentine was my mom’s dad’s middle name because he was born on Valentine’s Day.”
The new line of shoes and bags is described as “familiar, wholesome but quirky, colorful Americana” — not unlike the Kate Spade brand that she co-founded in 1993 before leaving the company in 2007. Kate is aware of the comparisons that might arise between the two brands, but don’t expect her to be defending her recognizable aesthetic anytime soon.
“I can’t say that I’m a different person than I was when I left,” she told the fashion trade. “It’s not like I went away for eight years and I came back and I’m suddenly Rick Owens. That didn’t happen.”
Frances Valentine, though, will be more expensive, since the products are produced in Spain and Italy, with shoes priced around $400, and bags and clutches ranging from $225 to $725. The collection is expected to arrive at department stores including Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s on Feb. 1.
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