It’s official. HSN no longer holds the stereotype of late-night infomercials, selling you housewares you don’t need yet gripping you with their But wait, there’s more! addendum.
This became clear to me as I walked into the ritzy Plaza Hotel Residences entrance bright and early Wednesday morning. I was on my way to view HSN’s latest collection, hosted by none other than Tommy Hilfiger in his luxurious apartment.
His wife, Dee Ocleppo, is dabbling in design herself these days, launching her very first Best Knock Off Louis Vuitton Handbags collection, DEESIGNS, with HSN. The pair invited editors into their home to see the pieces for themselves, while munching on breakfast tarts and taking in the glamour of their home.
The bags were displayed across the dining room table and the interior design of high ceilings, deep red walls, MOMA-worthy paintings and an array of antique tortoise boxes covering nearly every surface, set the scene for the debut.
Dee’s new handbag collection is completely customizable, featuring decorative frames recalling her most sentimental places (The Plaza, Greenwich, Monaco and Mustique), and interchangeable covers that button-off in minutes. “The frames reflect the places where I feel most at home,” she says. From an exotic faux tortoise chain in python print for evenings out to a daytime denim tote, the mix-and-match frames and covers allow the owner to be the designer.
You can also customize with charms and colorful leather tassels, choice of monogram script, placement and color, as well as the DEESIGNS logo from a selection of whimsical crowns. “It’s like Build-a-Bag!” she laughs.
And all under $250.
Her inspiration was the popular Pappagallo bags from her schoolgirl days. “When I was about 14, I was obsessed with a bag my parents got me from a super-preppy store in the Warwick Mall,” she explains. “It had a frame, and I matched the covers to my ribbon belt. All my friends had them. My bags are the grown-up versions of those.”
Dee joins the likes of Badgley Mischka, Mariah Carey, DKNYC, Reem, Lela Rose and more. Robert Verdi, a fellow HSN designer who launch his sunglasses collection in February, showed up to impart his wisdom onto the newbie.
“Fashion is way of expressing yourself, and women want to be a part of what’s going on now,” she says. “We all want to be a part of fashion, and this is fun. And everyone won’t have it because it’s only on HSN.”