Monday, May 24, 2010

Tracy Reese Expands Plenty Line

NEW YORK — Plenty by Tracy Reese, which is known for color, texture and pattern, will add a casual and vintage-inspired shoe collection for fall.

Coordinating with the Plenty apparel, the 30-style line features flats, heels, clogs and boots with touches of masculine details such as tassels and lug soles. There’s also a home collection, bath accessories and candles. “Plenty [shoe collection] will be more extensive than Tracy Reese,” said the designer, sitting in her 39th Street showroom. “It’s casual through evening. Tracy Reese is dressy, while Plenty will have real day shoes and more heel heights.” The collection will be priced from $95 to $200.

While shoes for Reese’s eponymous collection have been made in Italy, Plenty shoes will be produced in China and priced 40 percent below the signature Tracy Reese shoe collection, which launched two years ago at Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Anthropologie.

“I’m interested in doing handbags,” said Reese. “They’ll be priced in the low $200 range. I also want to do cosmetics and travel bags using Plenty prints.”

Reese has relaunched her e-commerce site, operating it through her store at 641 Hudson Street between Horatio and Gansevoort Streets in the West Village. “[The store] sells the products and they know what goes with what,” she said. “The store checks the orders and ships the products. The store has total access to our warehouse. It’s a lot more nimble. Before, we worked with a third party that ran the site. There was no connection between us and the customer.”

Since oversight and fulfillment of e-commerce have been transferred to the Tracy Reese flagship, return rates have dropped, the designer said, adding that the e-commerce site does about 30 percent of the store’s volume.

“We’re learning retail,” Reese said. “It’s exciting to see the business coming back.”

“There’s a strategic advantage to having three labels,” said Barry Miguel, chief executive officer of T.R. Designs, the firm’s parent company. “The real goal next is to separate them so they each have their own environments, build their own customer bases. We’d do that right within the city. We’re starting to build out each brand. We have ideas of where we want to go. We’ll be finding distributors in China this year.”


How exciting! I'm an avid fan of both lines and look forward, especially, to the new line of shoes and handbags. Reasonably priced, from $95 to $200, along with versatile designs, should prove to be a great selling point. I didn't know that Anthropologie carries her pieces, but it certainly makes good business sense due to Anthropologie's popularity among consumers. I have a great deal of admiration for Tracy, not only for her fabulous clothing and accessories, but for her tenacity in finding a way to stay "relevant" in such a competitive industry.

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