Kate Spade Debuts Lillian Bassman Accessories

Picture Perfect Kate Spade’s capsule collection of accessories featuring “Touch of Dew,” a 1961 photograph by Lillian Bassman.

If you’re still kicking yourself for missing out on that Tommy Hilfiger/Sam Haskins collaboration from a couple of years ago, don’t let this photoprinted merch pass you by. Kate Spade has just introduced its Lillian Bassman collection, a trio of smart accessories (leather tote, silk scarf, and zip-top pouch) printed with “Touch of Dew,” Bassman’s 1961 photo of model Lisa Fonssagrives behind the wheel of a creamy convertible. Bassman began her career as a textile designer and fashion illustrator before working under legendary art director Alexey Brodovitch at Harper’s Bazaar and finding her calling as a photographer. Now 94, she has embraced digital methods, mastered Photoshop, and is at work on a new book of photographs slated for publication in 2012.

“I love the way she photographs women,” says Kate Spade creative director Deborah Lloyd, who fell in love with Bassman’s work at a 2004 exhibition at New York’s Staley-Wise Gallery. “She beautifully captures both their femininity and their strengths.” In an interview posted yesterday on the Kate Spade blog, Bassman discusses her career, the influence of Brodovitch, summers spent with pal Richard Avedon, and her commitment to black and white photography. “It’s how I see things—in black and white,” she says. “I know that there’s color around, but it doesn’t give me the same kind of excitement that pure black and white does. I find it thrilling.”