Kate Spade New York is ending the year with some much-needed color and holiday joy by partnering with comedian, designer, and the brand's global ambassador Naomi Watanabe on a capsule collection of three new handbags.
Watanabe worked closely alongside Creative Director Nicola Glass on the collection, which includes a small, medium, and large bag. Watanabe kept size in mind during the creative process, wanting to design pieces people could easily grab on the go, whether they’re heading to work or out to a party.
"We made it from scratch with the designers and we were going to meet and just talk about future plans," Watanabe tells NYLON. "But in the meeting they had materials and fabric laid out, so we immediately started talking about the specific combinations of all the different materials. I think we talked [for] about an hour or two, and basically it was completed by then. It was just supposed to be a quick meeting, but then we got very excited and just completed everything on the spot."
While micro bags have been trending, Watanabe struggled with the lack of storage space in the popular style. She ended up measuring her own iPhone in order to create a conveniently-sized crossbody that's capable of holding all the everyday necessities.
"My favorite is the medium one and that's the one I actually personally made a request to Nicola to create, because I believe Kate Spade didn't have that size at that time," she recalls. "I wanted something that fit my iPhone. Small bags were trending then, but I actually didn't know what I could fit in that. Cards fit, but I always had to hand carry my iPhone separately, and I didn't like that in my everyday life. I didn't want one that's too small where you can't fit anything and if it's too big, it's really hard to carry across your shoulder. So I asked Kate Spade for a favor and had this one created."
Watanabe hopes the capsule collection adds a pop of color to the usual blacks and neutrals that make up winter fashion, even more so now, which is poised to be a not-so-normal holiday season than usual. While the end of 2020 is looking much different than the years before it, Watanabe is still holding onto one of her annual traditions.
"I have three of my female comedian colleagues come join me at home and we do hotpot and we eat a Christmas cake and we do a gift exchange," she says, adding that they all pass gifts around while singing Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You." "We just sing along to the whole song. We get out of breath and we just laugh every time. We're all mature adults, but we do that every year and we enjoy it."
Check out more of Watanabe's Kate Spade collection below, and shop it for yourself on Kate Spade's website.