In the eclectic world of handbags, you know you've made it when a celebrity is spotted carrying a tote you designed. So it's no surprise that Richard Lambertson and John Truex were pleased when Jennifer Aniston was recently photographed with a tote they created for Tiffany & Co.
While most shoppers associate the luxury retailer with precious jewels and the iconic Audrey Hepburn movie, it has recently expanded into leather goods in a big way. After acquiring the deluxe leather goods company Lambertson Truex two years ago, Tiffany officials retained former owners Lambertson and Truex to create deluxe handbags, wallets, gloves and other leather items with appeal to its discerning clientele.
"It was a great marriage. Our attention to detail and craftmanship is perfect for an iconic American brand," said Lambertson, during a recent Houston visit to showcase the collection at the Tiffany Galleria store.
The Houston woman "is sophisticated, well-traveled, up-to-date on trends. She's very independent."
For fall, the duo has introduced 30 new styles. They include the Vivian, a vintage-looking leather clutch dotted with silver beads, and the Genevieve, a classic handbag that comes in a variety of materials and styles. Many of the handbags are lined in the iconic Tiffany robin egg blue fabric.
"The Tiffany customer has embraced the collection because they trust the brand," Truex said. "With Tiffany, what we do is what they do: Attention to quality, attention to detail, produced in the best factories and fairly priced in the market, not exorbitant."
The collection ranges from a small reversible tote (silver on one side, Tiffany blue on the other) for $395 to an alligator handbag, at $21,000. "There's something for everybody," Truex said.
The duo, currently on a cross-country tour to showcase the bags in Tiffany stores, said they enjoy meeting customers and finding out their different needs. "Just because you might be a career woman doesn't mean you don't need a sleek clutch for evening," Lambertson noted.
And they believe handbags and other leather goods are a natural extension of a wardrobe for a women who appreciates fine jewelry.
Before selling the business to Tiffany, they were familiar with Houston, where their Lambertson Truex line was carried at Neiman Marcus and Joseph. Their thoughts on the Houston woman?
"She is sophisticated, well-traveled, up-to-date on trends. She's very independent," Truex said. "This collection is perfect for the Houston woman because she's her own fashion leader."