Rain isn’t all gray and dreary.
When we sit under our umbrellas or mock a downpour, we shy away from joy in the rain. Rain makes new beginnings. It washes away dust, dirt or any debris that may be in its path. It gives life to plants. He gathers in puddles to splash with pleasure.
This is the philosophy that the new creative heads of Kate Spade New York have introduced into the Spring 2023 collection. This season not only marks the debut of Tom Mora and Jennifer Lyu for the brand, but also the return of Kate Spade New York to New York Fashion Week York since the start of the pandemic. (Mora will lead the ready-to-wear, footwear, jewelry, home and lifestyle categories; while Liu will lead bags and accessories.)
The designers’ inaugural offering is filled with bold prints, glorious raincoats, daring sunglasses and pom-pom-adorned heels. A wide-brimmed rain hat, offered in a variety of shades, best captures the spirit of the collection.
“It’s that energy that we want to put out, that I’m going to look at this and taste it and see it all and take it all in,” Mora says. It’s all about new perspectives – as opposed to shrugging under an umbrella, wearing a hat gives its owner the ability to see and be safe in the rain.
Atop 3 World Trade Center, overlooking the bustling city, models line up in full view under “clouds” made up of clusters of balloons. A soft soundtrack of sounds, including rain, played as the staged rain fell behind them.
Among the more functional trunks and crossbody bags, standout pieces like a cloud bag made of shiny metal with thin chains hanging down, imitating rain. Mixing utility and playfulness are key to the Kate Spade New York code. After all, Lyu argues, handbags are a highly expressive external version of oneself.
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“Bags keep secrets,” she says. “And they help you throughout the day to have a clearer state of mind. There’s a lot that goes into making a bag.”
The collection stays true to the essence of Kate Spade New York – one that revolves around vibrancy, vibrancy, fantasy, wit, femininity and New York City. Mixed prints. Belted waist with flowers. Fiery red and lemon green skin. Structured bodies and shoulder bags. Dazzling pearl and earring detail.
“People are so unique and individual, and that’s the beauty of where we’re going,” says Mora. “What binds all these women together is a love of joy, of color, of femininity, of self-expression and confidence. Our goal is not to make women confident – she already is confident, we’re just we add it.”
Before becoming Kate Spade’s New York Senior Vice President and Head of Design for the ready-to-wear and lifestyle categories, Mora worked at Cole Haan, J. Crew and Coach. Lyu led accessories at Tory Burch, Prada and 3.1 Phillip Lim before launching leather goods and accessories at the brand.
“There is so much joy and rich heritage,” says Lyu. “To be able to participate has been such an honor.”
Check out the full Kate Spade New York Spring 2023 collection in the gallery below.
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