So they launched Frances Valentine

Three years after Kate Spade’s tragic death

Today, Frances Valentine is a bustling 6 year old business that has found a way to double its revenue in the face of a pandemic that has pummeled the fashion industry. At its helm is cofounder Elyce Arons, Spade longtime friend and business partner. Every day, Arons channels her friend sensibilities into Frances fake louis bag Valentine clothes, accessories, and branding. The aaa replica designer handbags goal isn just to keep Spade legacy alive, it to capture the woman Spade might be today.

[Photo: Frances Valentine]A brand built on friendshipWhen I speak to Arons over Zoom, she sitting in Frances Valentine offices in New York City Bryant Park, overseeing a photo shoot. She wearing a chunky cream colored fisherman sweater that will appear in this fall collection. The sweater is an exact replica fake louis bag of one that Arons cheap louis vuitton bags from china uk bought as a freshman at the University of Kansas fake designer bags in the late 1980s, where she first met Spade. She loaned it to Spade in college and didn get it back for decades. years ago, Katy hands me a bag of clothes she borrowed over the years, and there was my sweater on the top, Arons says. about it is exactly perfect to me. I guess we both loved it. In many ways, this brand is the logical extension of the first brand they built in 1993, together with Spade husband, Andy, and their friend Pamela Bell. After graduating from college, they moved to New York where they got jobs in the fashion industry as a fashion editor, and Arons at denim brand Girbaud. It was Andy who had the idea for a handbag brand. The four founders built the company in a tiny New York apartment. replica louis vuitton was probably the most exciting time of our lives, Arons says. were the right age: just enough experience, not too innocent. Everybody in the room was so good at what they did. They wanted chic bags they could carry to work and replica louis vuitton bags from china brunch that weren as outrageously priced as luxury bags from Chanel or Louis Vuitton. These products, coupled with Spade herself as the face of the brand, proved to be a winning formula. The products were picked up by Barneys and Fred Segal, and shortly thereafter the brand began opening stand alone stores. In 2006, a little more than a decade after it launched, the company 1:1 replica handbags was acquired by Neiman Marcus, which later sold it to Liz Claiborne.

[Photo: Frances Valentine]After selling their business, the friends stayed close, raising their children together, taking cooking classes, and out for the first time in our lives, Arons recalls. But they also had an itch to build another business for the women they evolved into. They wanted bags that were practical, fun, and well made, but that didn come with luxury price tags. So they launched Frances Valentine, named for Spade two grandfathers, whose names she also passed on to her daughter.

[Photo: Frances Valentine]Frances Valentine, which is sold online and in three stores in New York and Florida, is designed to reflect the original spirit of the Kate Spade brand. The clothes high quality designer replica handbags fake designer bags , shoes, and accessories are bathed in rich colors like red and gold. There are plenty of patterns, including caftans embroidered in bright floral designs and fabulous leopard print faux fur coats. Many pieces are also vintage inspired. A trench coat pays homage to Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain. A series of sweaters references high quality replica handbags china the Darlene pastel floral cardigans of the 1950s. are pieces that make you feel happy, Arons says. designed to be heirloom pieces that you pass on to your kids. Several months after the designer died, Frances Valentine re created one of her favorite pieces, a wool sweater covered in floral embroidery. Spade had found it in a secondhand store, complete with a personalized label bearing the name of its previous owner. She wore it all the time. When it appeared on the Frances Valentine website, fans understood its significance, and it sold out immediately.

[Photo: Frances Valentine]Winning over the original Kate Spade womanAlthough Frances Valentine customers span a wide age range, the most common shopper is a woman in her 50s who fell in love with the Kate Spade brand decades ago but eventually outgrew it. This makes sense, given the founders approach. were designing things that were for us, says Arons, who is also in her 50s. we are the original Kate Spade woman, but we grown up a little bit. the three decades since Kate Spade the brand was born, the entire retail landscape has changed. So when Frances Valentine launched, cheap louis vuitton bags from china Arons and Spade decided to make it a digital first, direct to consumer brand, much like the millennial oriented fashion labels that have popped up in recent years, like Everlane and Reformation.

[Photo: Frances Valentine]And while Frances Valentine customers have adapted to the times as well, they haven shifted entirely online. Many still crave old fashioned approaches to shopping. For instance, when Frances Valentine began producing physical catalogs, the company saw a 40% spike in orders, a conversion rate that 275% higher than the industry average. Older customers also call the store frequently to ask about new products, sizing issues, and styling advice. Arons says these calls help build relationships with customers , giving store associates an opportunity to reach out proactively when something comes in that they might like. has kept our stores active even during the pandemic, when we were forced to shut down. She written hundreds of personal notes to loyal customers, inviting their feedback and thanking them for their support. It gestures like these that she believes will set Frances Valentine apart from other brands that cater to a similar audience.

It has now been three replica designer handbags years since Spade passing. For Arons, it strange to run a company without her. At the same time, working on Frances Valentine every day allows her to feel close to her friend. think she would be very happy with where the company is now, she says. morning, we shot a pair of earrings and my first thought was that Katy would love them. Every time I throw on this sweater I think of her. She lives in Cambridge, MassachusettsDesign inspiration in your inbox. Sign up for the daily newsletter

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