For Isaac Mizrahi, there's high fashion, low fashion and now a middle ground, too.
The designer has unveiled a collection of handbags under his Isaac Isaac Mizrahi bridge label, and he said more categories soon could follow.
"It's always hard to talk specifically about the goals of my company, but we're building something here," he said, sitting among the handbags in a sun-filled conference room within his studio in Chelsea here, just a day before presenting what he calls his couture and semicouture apparel collection. "It's starting to be the world of Isaac."
The collection of about 25 handbag silhouettes joins a footwear line that has been in existence since 1996.
The handbags, which are being created under a license with the Accessory Network Group, will target similar department and specialty store distribution. Prices will range from $395 to $895.
The bags, which will hit stores in March for the spring selling season, focus on what Mizrahi said is missing in the marketplace right now: a combination of tailoring and soft construction.
"While we have one or two pieces that are tailored, most of the looks are amorphous with a little structure to them," he explained. "It's ladylike, which is the edgiest thing in the world right now."
Bags are designed mostly from supple matte leathers or combinations of patent leathers with canvas or suedes with canvas. Silhouettes include totes, duffels, oversized satchels, purses and clutches, while colors range from neutrals such as black, chocolate brown, camel and cream to more signature hues such as fuchsia, pink and red.
Ateyeh said elevating the detailing was crucial to the designs. Upscale touches such as leather bows and flower-shaped feet are iconic to Mizrahi, while other accents, including painted edges and custom toggles, are added to distinguish the looks.
"The marketplace was considered when we developed this line," said Mizrahi. "But you won't find trendy materials and designs here. I'm a classicist and I want to design classic things."