With its latest launch, Accessory Exchange is all about making fashion functional and stylish.
With its new line, Tutilo, the company behind such brands as Olivia + Joy, Crocs and Isaac Mizrahi will feature everyday tote bags that securely protect iPads, laptops and electronics, built with the "every woman" in mind, says Accessory Exchange President Abe Dweck.
"As we saw our core business growing, we noticed an increased need for fashionable accessories that are not only able to accommodate a busy lifestyle, but also combine fashion and function," says Dweck. "Tutilo was established to fulfill the need of every woman, from the working mom to the stylish commuter and the fashion-forward student."
In advance of the Jan. 2, 2015 launch of the line's website, Tutilo.com, Dweck clues us in to creating accessory solutions for the working woman.
Q: What's your background in accessories?
A: I've been in the handbag industry for 30 years and have worked in all price points whether it's leather or synthetic. We add a specific technical expertise.
Q: Why did you start the line?
A: We get a lot of customer service emails. Women are looking for more fashionable totes. They are working moms who are commuting and traveling. They are looking for the perfect bag that can handle their electronics and look chic.
Q: What differentiates you from others?
A: I spent over a year studying what will make these totes unique. I take a lot of pride in developing and solving problems with technical expertise.
Q: What's the price point?
A: $98-$128. It's synthetic so they are so light-weight and vegan.
Q: Where are you selling the handbags?
A We had a lot of success with Olivia + Joy online. That's how Tutilo will be sold.
Q: Any future of pop ups?
A: We are looking at pop ups for next year.
Q: Have you ever thought of doing collaborations?
A: Never say "no."
Q: How did you get into the accessories business?
A: I went to Brooklyn College and developed a love of accessories. I started at 18 working at Accessories Exchange. I came back in my early 30s and became a principle. I liked the company so much that I bought it.
Q: Why did you want to buy it?
A I liked the idea of managing people, the campus environment and problem-solving. We are now the leading accessories design and leader in industry.
Q: What are your two favorite New York restaurant haunts?
A: Franny's in Brooklyn and 1 or 8 has the best sushi in New York.
Q: How does someone become you?
A: Don't take "no" for an answer, and go with your gut.