New York-Lena Jones, former president and one of the founders of Rosetti Handbags, is the new owner of Perlina Handbags, a 21-year-old Manhattan-based handbag and leather goods line that once was one of the leading brand names in moderately priced leather handbags.
(Image of Perlina Handbags - Courtesy of Perlina - All Rights Reserved)
"Perlina is a longtime, wonderful brand name in handbags, one that has stood for quality and function," says Jones. "The mission statement for the new Perlina is what made the brand a player to start with: great styling, function and designs at pricepoints under $200 retail."
Current Retail Climate
While Jones admits that the current retail climate is a difficult one to relaunch a brand, she nevertheless says Perlina has opportunity due to its longstanding reputation for reasonable prices for core product that also is contemporary. "Yes this is a tough retail environment and consumers are looking for value and function. Perlina is a longtime brand in this area and consumers know it."
The collection, which is carried in stores such as Nordstrom and Carson Pirie Scott, has been successful recently with cross body silhouettes, minibags and coordinating wallets, Jones says.
The new Perlina with Jones at the helm will be ready for a "soft" opening for the May accessories market at its 10 West 33rd Street showroom, suite 1005.
By August market, Jones says she plans to expand the collection under the NYC by Perlina name with "fabrics, straws, even a higher-end PU line based upon the same signature styling that Perlina leathers contain."
Perlina In The 1990s
Established in 1989 by the brother team of Roger and Cezar Mizrahi, Perlina grew rapidly in the early 1990s filling a niche between high-end designer and lower priced vinyls and others. The brand quickly garnered a following due to its simple but functional styles that featured a soft leather hand. While the brand was a leading player in department and better specialty store business, Perlina faced tough competition in recent years as consumers opted for designer brands and the latest "it" bags.
Jones began her career as a handbag buyer at Macy's. About 16 years ago, she was one of the founders of Rosetti which now is a subsidiary of Li & Fung Ltd.
Jones says she has ambitious goals for the brand which include expanding into additional classifications such as footwear, belts and others. "Perlina has an identity and I see this as an opportunity to growth into a lifestyle brand." Perlina.com. (212) 564-2914
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