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Gadgets & Home Improvement

A well-dressed home

Top fashion labels including Kate Spade, Bottega Veneta and Hermes are expanding into the lifestyle business
The Business Times - June 14, 2014
By: Tay Suan Chiang
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A well-dressed home BOLD AND COLOURFUL rnKate Spade Stationery and Gifts Collection

You wear the clothes. Why not write in the notebooks or eat off the plates? That seems to be the business game plan of fashion labels which are branching out into the lifestyle business.

The latest to do so in Singapore is Kate Spade New York, which launched its Stationery and Gifts collection on Wednesday at novelty store Monoyono in Plaza Singapura.

The Kate Spade New York Stationery and Gift collection was launched in the United States last autumn, and is a partnership with fine gifts and accessories specialist Lifeguard Press.

Like its name implies, the collection comprises writing instruments, notebooks, greeting cards and desk accessories, as well as plates, glasses and napkins and even a picnic mat.

In line with the quintessential Kate Spade spirit, the items feature bold and colourful prints and motifs.

Charm of writing

With the stationery collection, Benny Low, managing director of Trendspot, which owns Monoyono, says: "We want to bring back the charm of writing in today's digital world, where typing and tweeting have become the norm."

He is confident that the lifestyle collection will appeal to existing Kate Spade fans. "But those who aren't will probably also want to buy a piece or two for their friends who already have Kate Spade bags," he notes.

Todd Ferrier, president of Lifeguard Press, says fans can expect more in the next collection. "We love the playful quotes that Kate Spade New York uses, and they have become iconic for the brand. We will continue to play on those quotes." Some of the quirky quotes include "talk is chic" and "how the devil are you".

Earlier this year, Calvin Klein showcased pieces from its Home collection in an architectural installation, designed to serve as a "concept house" at the Old Kallang Airport.

Quiet elegance

The Calvin Klein Home collection was started in 1995, when the designer could not find the right bedlinen that he wanted, according to Amy Mellen, the brand's creative director.

The collection is not yet available in Singapore, but it includes bedding, bath, dinnerware, tabletop, table linens, giftware and furniture. Like the fashion, the look of Home is about quiet luxury and elegance.

The two brands join the likes of Bottega Veneta and Hermes which have already dressed homes with their luxurious homeware.

As with the other labels, Bottega Veneta's home collection which was launched in 2006, evolved out of necessity. When its creative director Tomas Maier could not find specific furnishings for his residence or the retail stores which he decorated, he commissioned bespoke pieces. Then, he explains: "People wanted to buy the bench that was in the window, and I said: 'No, we'll make you one.' And one thing led to the next."

The full range of Bottega Veneta Home Collection is launched every two years at Milan's Salone Del Mobile. Its latest range was launched in April, and will be available for sale from September, at Da Vinci Home Collection in Upper Bukit Timah Road.

Da Vinci Home also carries home collections from other well-known fashion labels including Blumarine, Versace, Kenzo, Fendi and Armani. Jason Chua, Da Vinci Home's sales manager, says sales of home items from these brands have been positive. "They appeal to those who are already familiar with the fashion side of the brand," he adds.

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