words/images Judith Ecochard
Morgan Library, NYC
How appropriate that the plush, wood paneled library in the stately mansion---a show stopping home of the long dead, financial tycoon J.P. Morgan, served as the intimate setting for the handbag/accessories/costume jewelry Fall 2012 of Eitienne Aigner.
There was a time that this heritage leather goods brand was immensely popular -and carrying a pocketbook with the signature horseshoe buckle gold hardware- was a status symbol for a certain generation who shopped at all the glorious department stores of yesteryear-B. Altman's, Best & Co....and revived merchandiser- Lord & Taylor's.
Highlights of this preview included the smooth high-end leather-the same as the original 1950's version- and embossed snakeskin/croc-in ladylike handbags, handy totes, barrels, roomy hobos, oversized clutches and practical wallets, in classic shapes with feminine folds and curves-not overly boxy-geometric sharp-----PLUS-with thoroughly modern interiors tricked out with all the zipped inner pockets and compartments that a modern gal would need.
|contrast stitching, double zip for easy access and decorative elements|
FUN-handbags named after society ladies who might have felt just at home in such a setting.
We chatted with several E.A. employees including President Jim Piotti- and learned that the the "re-imagined" traditional carry-alls have received an upgrade for Fall 2012-with prices set in that affordable luxury category (under $350) ---which brought to mind Coach-another label that had its glory days back in the 70's/80's----and experienced a successful revival.
Other Eitienne Aigner offerings we saw include a line of costume jewelry collection ($35-$275)...and other licenses are soon soon hit retail stores---sunglasses, shoes, and even a women's apparel line.