If you’re looking for happiness, Elyce Arons says she has what you need: a selection of whimsical, colorful and fun pieces normally sold at her Sag Harbor store, Frances Valentine, are now available for curbside pickup at the shop or online.
Frances Valentine is the legacy brand of the late Kate Spade who was known for her vintage-inspired designs and pieces reflecting a joyful spirit, wit and charm. Arons was Spade’s business partner and explains the Frances Valentine name comes from the names Frances on Spade’s father’s side and Valentine on her mother’s side.
“Our goal is to make joyful products that delight and inspire,” says Arons, a Bridgehampton resident. They include handbags, baskets, caftans, sun hats, sweaters, jewelry, shoes and gift selections. “All of the products are things that you just want to own because they make you happy,” Arons adds. “I think we are all looking for a little sunshine and anything that can brighten our moods when there is so much sadness and anxiety right now.”
The offerings typically burst with intense color and style, including Jackie O-inspired sunglasses with frames in colors like aqua and pink, shrugs and skirts festooned with flowers and polka dots, and hats with fringed brims. In addition to the sunglasses, other looks channeling a strong retro vibe are metallic swing coats in hues such as orange and teal, and peasant dresses in bright red and yellow.
Styles from the “Love, Katy” collection are designed from pieces Spade wore and loved and one new piece is released each season. A “Katy’s Floral Cardi Coat” currently for sale is inspired by a piece Spade found during one of her shopping trips for secondhand clothing. In a description of the piece on the Frances Valentine website, francesvalentine.com, it says, “The original piece has a personalized, sewn label with the name of its previous owner — it’s fun to imagine the parties and occasions this cardigan has seen.” The site adds that the “Love, Katy” looks “bring to mind a sense of longing for the past but something refreshing to hold on to in the present.”
Arons adds that Frances Valentine looks can make the present bright — literally.
“The bright colors — especially in spring and summer — are not pastels, but bright and vibrant,” Arons says. The print or design of the embroidery (on some pieces) is usually something eclectic and fun,” Arons says.
The Sag Harbor Frances Valentine store is located at 78 Main St., and there are also shops in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida.
Prices range from $35 for a pair of earrings to $695 for a linen caftan, with most prices in the $200 to $300 range.