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Kate Spade's Founders Are Back With a New Brand

Photo: WWD/Twitter

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Three of the original founders of the brand Kate Spade — including Kate and Andy Spade along with Elyce Arons — have created a new brand known as Frances Valentine, WWD reports. And like they did with Kate Spade, the founders kept it in the family when it came to naming their new brand. Kate explains: "Frances is a longtime family name on my dad's side... And then Valentine was my mom's dad's middle name because he was born on Valentine's Day."

Frances Valentine will launch as strictly a shoe and handbag line since Kate intends to build the brand slowly. "Someone else said, ‘Oh, I really expected guns-a-blazing, that you were going to come in with a whole lifestyle brand,'" Kate tells WWD. "I said, ‘No, we wouldn't do that.'" The new line of shoes and handbags reflects the same sort of whimsical and wearable look seen at Kate Spade. However, the products will be pricier since they are being manufactured in places like Italy and Spain. The founders have already shown the products in a homey-looking space and plan to have Frances Valentine's first line in department stores like Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's on February 1st. Shoes will retail around $400 and bags will range in price from $225 to $725, according to WWD.

Kate makes no apologies for creating something that will feel slightly familiar to fans of her original and namesake brand. "I can't say that I'm a different person than I was when I left," she says. "It's not like I went away for eight years and I came back and I'm suddenly Rick Owens. That didn't happen." You can see photos of the collection, which includes a colorful range of flats, espadrilles, heels, and sandals plus metallic purses, atWWD.