clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Vince Is ‘Hitting Pause’ On Its Handbag Business

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Less than two years after Vince launched its handbag collection, the brand is "hitting pause" on that category, company executives said on a webcast Tuesday afternoon while reporting 2015's financial results.

Why the freeze? Execs explained that the simple leather bags just didn't represent the ready-to-wear side of the brand, which has been in the midst of its own creative overhaul ever since Vince re-hired its previously departed co-founders, Rea Laccone and Christopher LaPolice, as product and merchandising consultants this November. And it was undoubtedly more than just an aesthetic incongruity: Vince's sales dropped 11.1 percent in 2015, from $340.4 million during 2014 to $302.5 million. One might suppose that bag sales factored into that slump.

Vince isn't giving up on the category, though. The team is currently looking to hire a dedicated handbag designer and is rethinking its price point, which currently ranges from $75 for a "croc key pouch" to $225 for a little leather crossbody with a notched closure and $595 for a larger tote. That's actually a slight revision of its handbags' pricing when they originally launched in November 2014. At that time they slid all the way up to $845.

Unlike that repositioning, the move this time is to stop marketing, revamp the thing, and relaunch. Here's to new beginnings.