January 29, 2005
Kate Spade’s name is nearly synonymous with handbags. Last spring, however, her moniker extended to a line of home accessories and bright linens that now adorn the beds of many women who made Spade a household name in the ’90s.
The reigning first lady of handbags isn’t the only one crossing over from fashion to home furnishings: Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karen and Ralph Lauren have home lines, and chic shops like Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters split their stores into sections for clothing and couches.
"I do not have an interest in designing a clothing collection, yet I adore accessories," said Spade, who attended Arizona State University. "It is the sum of all details that makes an outfit, a dinner table, a bedroom more interesting and special."
It may seem like fashion designers are just cashing in on housewives desperate for the latest and trendiest in home decor. But Stefanie Moore, a designer with Weisman & Gale Interiors in Scottsdale, said it’s a natural evolution.
"Your clothing and your home go hand in hand," Moore said. "If you dress to feel classy and comfortable, then you want to go home and feel that same way. It’s a natural transition for someone who designs clothing or handbags to take their same image or look or feel into the home environment."
Fashion has been spilling out of the closet and into the bedroom for years, Moore said, prompting trends in housewares to coincide with the latest fashions.
Now, you can leave a department store with a complete bedding set, lampshade and an outfit cut from the same cloth in the season’s hottest shades.
The resulting look is a little too "matchy" for Moore’s taste, but she said it looks current, and knowing it’s a brand name gives buyers added confidence. And it all can be updated or replaced when a new look comes in next season.
"It makes decorating easy," Moore said. "It does take away a little bit of the work and the creativity of it. But it works."
Of course, there is an economic incentive for designers to dive into the home market. But the motivation for most, Spade said, is making high style available at low prices.
"I wanted to make setting the table and making the bed chic and fun," Spade said.