Tiffany Pays Tribute to Audrey Hepburn With New Bags

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Tiffany & Co. next month starts selling its first women’s handbag collection in 20 years, part of a bid to “extend its brand beyond jewelry,” as Bloomberg notes.

The women’s collection is priced between $395 for a tote bag to $15,500 for a “Laurelton” glazed crocodile leather satchel. But it’s the “Holly” clutches, which come in both satin jewel tones and leather, that will likely prove the biggest lure for fans of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Check out the Holly clutch, and why Tiffany’s got a brand new bag, after the jump.[more]

Tiffany’s 12 largest U.S. stores will begin selling the bags in September, which may also boost sales of its current range of wallets and small leather accessories.

“A blue box from Tiffany is instantly credible as a gift,” as Steven Dennis, a former Neiman Marcus executive turned consultant, tells Bloomberg. “Smaller leather goods, those are very giftable categories.”

The biggest challenge to the brand, adds Dennis: Tiffany isn’t known as a fashion or a leather-goods purveyor, and “shoppers may seek out a known label, such as Hermès, if they’re going to spend that kind of money.”

The collection — which includes day and evening handbags for women, men’s briefcases and bags, and accessories for both — was created by the designing duo formerly known as Lambertson Truex (Richard Lambertson and John Truex), who joined Tiffany about a year ago after the brand acquired their bankrupt leather goods firm from Samsonite.

The brand’s new men’s collection, which ranges from $95 for a card case to $1,395 for a crocodile travel wallet, is in step with Coach’s brand extension into men’s accessories.

Tiffany, the world’s second-largest luxury jewelry retailer, will gradually convert its top dozen flagship stores’ floor space from “unprofitable” china and crystal to make room the leather goods.

The brand’s classic Tiffany blue has been strategically employed: it’s the shade of the bags’ leather linings, with touches of the shade also found on the color enamel of the bags’ hardware. The handbags come in an array of rich shades including Tiffany blue, with the evening bags boasting Tiffany jewelry-inspired touches to add sparkle.

The “Holly” clutch, below, is priced at $595 and echoes the Holly Golightly character played by Hepburn in the 1961 filmed adaptation of Truman Capote’s novella.

Tiffany previously tried branded handbags and scarves in the 1980s, but discontinued the items in the early 1990s.

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