It would be hard to miss the traffic-stopping yellow Kate Spade Saturday store with its graphic black-and-white walkway on 3rd Street. Last Saturday a flurry of vibrant yellow flags marked the opening of this second U.S. location for Kate Spade’s little sister brand, which aims to target 25- to 30-year-old women.
Launched in February, the brand currently has six stores in Japan and one in New York City; a third U.S. store is set to open near Rice University in Houston on Friday and a fourth hits New York City’s Spring Street in November. Next month a store is scheduled to open in Singapore -- a top market, like Japan, for Kate Spade New York.
“We think this customer is someone who really likes the idea of Kate Spade New York -- the color, the pattern, the optimism, the sensibility -- but she may not be quite ready for it just yet,” says Kyle Andrew, senior vice president and brand director for Kate Spade Saturday and previously marketing director of Kate Spade New York. “She may not have enough money or have the right job or lifestyle to suit those more sophisticated, dressed-up clothes. This has the same spirit, but is a little more accessible and more casual.”
Kate Spade Saturday is priced about 50% less than Kate Spade New York. Andrew describes the label’s look as “a modern, clean aesthetic -- not fussy and not a lot of details.”
Function and versatility are a focus, with designs that multi-task or move easily from office to off-time. For example, the Three-Way Tote ($40) functions as a shoulder tote, hand-held bag or fold-over clutch.
Catering to multiple aspects of a young woman's lifestyle, the brand offers apparel, accessories, beauty products (nail polish and eye shadow, not yet in stores), home products, small furnishings, even Frisbees and skateboards.
Geometric and arty prints are a hallmark that spans the collections, so throw pillows, notebooks and mugs match handbags, dresses and jeans. According to Andrew, black-and-white striped products are top sellers.
“We have an in-house artist who paints all our prints, so we don’t buy them,” says Andrew. “They are exclusive.”
The cotton canvas Weekender Bag, with a zippered compartment at the bottom for shoes or dirty laundry, is “the most popular product we have,” says Andrew. Available in two sizes and a variety of colors and prints (from $150), the Weekender Bag can also be customized (from $200) with more than 5,000 combinations of color and pattern and a monogram at saturday.com or at a special station in the 3rd Street store; the final bag is delivered in six weeks.
Kate Spade Saturday has plans to add more customized products, and iPads will soon be available at the 3rd Street store. While the Tokyo flagship includes a cafe, the U.S. stores have so far partnered with local eateries for in-store events, but Andrew says that the brand is exploring how to integrate food into the business as part of its push to make the stores “fun destinations.”
For the next four Saturdays, Sept. 28 through Oct. 19, the 3rd Street store will feature a DJ and snacks.
Kate Spade Saturday, 8400 W. 3rd St., (323) 944-0276. Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.