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Theory expanding handbag offering

FashionBy Sunday World
Theory expanding handbag offering

Fashion brand Theory is expanding into the accessories category with a line of handbags.

The New York-based contemporary label was launched by Andrew Rosen and Elie Tahari in 1997, and has since expanded into menswear and accessories. While the brand’s stores have stocked handbags before, they were mostly one-off styles or from other brands like Mansur Gavriel or Building Block. But Rosen has spotted a gap in the market for quality mid-range handbags, and along with accessories creative director Rory O’Hanlon, is launching Theory’s first full-fledged handbag collection.

Starting with 10 styles, such as the suede Transformer, a women’s cross body bag, to the Signature tote, a men’s leather weekender, the designs are minimalistic in their aesthetic. Retailing from $125 to $995 (£95 - £755), details such as calf hair and shearling add interest to the bags, some of which are made in Italy.

“The accessory business gives us an opportunity to be more adventuresome in terms of colour, etcetera,” Rosen told Business of Fashion. “Theory, as a brand, is conservative in a lot of ways. I hope we don’t operate conservatively, but we have some conservative elements to us and this gives us the permission to be less (so).”

At the heart of the collection is the theme of “affordable luxury”, and this is where O’Hanlon’s expertise, having worked for the likes of Coach and Celine previously, has come into play. Rosen adds that he’s very pleased with the quality of the range and believes the customer will respond well to the line.

“The idea is to incubate this and have it run as a start-up, even though we’re a big company,” he explained. “It’s going to take a lot of work and we’re going to have to continue to evolve the initial concept.”

The handbags will be available to purchase in Theory stores and the brand’s website in August (16).

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