The late fashion icon Kate Spade left her eponymous brand in 2007, but over a decade later, her vision, and spirit, lives on.
In 2016, the designer once again joined forces with husband Andy Spade, Paola Venturi, and Elyce Arons, the OG creative team that worked together at Kate Spade, to launch Frances Valentine, an accessories label that embodies all the feminine fun and whimsy that made Spade's creations so beloved.
Now, just in time for the holidays, the brand has debuted its first-ever pop-up boutique on Madison Avenue, and it's as colorful and chic as one would imagine.
"Standing outside the store, I know how happy it would [have made] Katy," says Arons, Spade's longtime friend, collaborator, and Frances Valentine CEO. "It really feels like home at the store, like a very comfortable living room. It's a warm environment, colorful and happy."
Much like the original Kate Spade label, the idea for Frances Valentine came from a desire to find timeless, unique pieces in an affordable price range.
"You shouldn't have to pay that much to find something that really makes you happy. We wanted really great, fun, accessible products... You won't find a black pump in our line," Arons says. "We want people to look at something and say, 'I love that so much I just have to have it!'"
From color-blocked purses to zebra-print Mary Janes, Frances Valentine's offerings were made for Kate Spade purists - her playful touch is found in each piece thanks to the team who knew her so well.
According to Arons, "We probably have a more critical eye now because she's not in there editing things, so it makes me look even harder than I ever would before to make sure [something is] exactly as she would want it."
Open through January 2019, the gorgeous space gives fashionistas the opportunity to experience the full collection offline for the first time, one of the things the team is most excited about. It's also provided a reunion of sorts for former Kate Spade retail workers, who, Arons said, found out they were doing the pop-up and wanted to be involved. "It was like getting your old girlfriends together. It was really fun."
Besides the new must-haves, Spade's fans also have the unique opportunity to quite literally shop her closet. The exclusive Love, Katy collection features pieces pulled directly from the designer's personal collection, recreated in limited edition runs. A vintage-inspired floral sweater, Kate's favorite Mexican caftans, and a tote depicting her adorable pup, Poe, are all available now.
Click through for an inside look at the boutique, a touching tribute to Kate Spade's creative spirit and joie de vivre. Stop by at 793 Madison Avenue.
[Photos courtesy Frances Valentine]