In a corner of the world where high-end, embellished and ornamental statement bags never seem to go out of fashion, the arrival of Kate Spade New York in Dubai Mall is a breath of fresh air.
"While we may be more understated than some of our competitors, we think customers will respond very positively to our interesting use of hardware," said the brand's chief executive officer Craig Leavitt at the opening of the UAE flagship boutique on Tuesday. "We also embrace colour and know how important it is to the region."
From handbags, prêt-a-porter and shoes to jewellery and tech products, including iPad cases - a complete range of lifestyle products is on display in vibrant splashes of turquoise, apple green and fluorescent coral.
"Each year we have an annual theme and for 2012 it's the year of pattern," says Leavitt of the geometric, nature-inspired designs. "For the past couple of months, we've focused on Florence Broadhurst, the Australian artist and wallpaper maker. We had access to some of her amazing archives and were able to utilise them throughout our collections."
Capsule wardrobes developed by the creative director Deborah Lloyd and her team are housed within the brightly decorated store, meaning ladies can purchase softly silhouetted summer dresses, bejewelled sandals, a generous clutch and show-stopping chandelier earrings - all in one place. There's an equally broad range of prices, says Leavitt, who points to Spade's covetable Gumdrop earrings starting from around US$50 (Dh184) and hand-finished signature leather bags retailing for up to $1,000.
Though Spade's themes may change every year, there's a reassuring selection of totes, shopping and evening bags in classic black and cream tones that will endure far beyond one or two seasons. Fans of the label in Abu Dhabi won't have to wait long to get their hands on the range either, says the native New Yorker, who, after opening a boutique in Kuwait last month, is forging ahead with plans for stores in the capital and Qatar.
"The great thing about the UAE and Dubai in particular is that it's such a microcosm of the world consumer, with people from all over the world shopping in this market place," he says. "Our brand is colourful and spirited. And customers here, just like anywhere else, are looking for a product that is optimistic - one with happiness to it!"
• Kate Spade New York is now open in the Dubai Mall. Visit www.katespade.com for more details
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