Shopping & Style

Starbucks Goes Designer with Rodarte Limited-Edition Products

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credit: www.facebook.com/OfficialRodarte

NEW YORK (AP) — Not expecting the indie fashion darlings of Rodarte and the in-every-neighborhood coffee retailer Starbucks to be in the same sentence, let alone the same stores?

They will be, come Tuesday, November 13.

Rodarte, an award winning design house, was founded in Los Angeles, California in 2005 by sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, according to their official Facebook page.

Following their graduation from UC Berkeley, both Kate and Laura returned to Los Angeles where they launched their brand Rodarte. The name “Rodarte” is of Spanish origin, taken from Kate and Laura’s mother’s maiden name.

Stars like Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman and Reese Witherspoon have worn Rodarte to red carpet events. One of Rodarte shoe designs from their Spring and Summer 2013 collection is pictured.

Now, Seattle-based Starbucks has tapped Rodarte to be its next design partner for a series of limited-edition products for the holiday season. There’ll be Rodarte-designed gift cards, tote bags, cup sleeves and mugs. The signature pattern features a pixelated checkerboard of gray, white and silver set against different shades of green.

It’s not specifically “holiday,” but that’s intentional.

For the design duo, it’s a chance to put their name — and their style — out to a new audience. Typically, their fashion designs are edgy, conceptual styles that are not necessarily in line with mass-market taste.

“Our clothing is specialized,” Laura Mulleavy said in an interview, “and when we are thinking of Rodarte, we choose things that say who we are as designers, but we’re not limited to that. We like the idea of collaborations and putting our thought process somewhere else.”

This project marks Starbucks’ first foray into fashion, said Samie Barr, vice president of category brand management, but the company sees it as “putting us on the map as a true inspirational gifting destination.”

Laura Mulleavy said designing the products came fairly easy, especially since they are daily coffee drinkers, but it was a challenge to adapt to the small surface of the gift card.

– Copyright 2012 The Associated Press with contributions from Tama Fulton, CBS Local Seattle

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