At Vera Bradley, a Spurt of Product Innovation

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Vera Bradley, best known for handbags and colorful, floral-patterned cotton quilted styles, this week showed an expanded assortment for spring 2018 at its Fifth Avenue showroom, reflecting ongoing efforts to evolve into a lifestyle collection. “The biggest story for spring and summer is really our totes,” said Harry Cunningham, vice president of creative services for the brand. For a touch of versatility, some of the totes are in canvas with glitter, so they double as beach bags or handbags, and totes with matching flip-flops are offered. Flip flops come in patterns that match the handbags.& Courtesy Photo Also new for next year: mini cross-bodies with drawstrings, “snack box” bags to carry wallets and mobile phones, and updated patterns on hard-side luggage. “The other big story is beach-related travel-like backpacks,” Cunningham said. Previously, only school backpacks were offered. Beach towels are another key category, and licensed products are a growing percentage of the business, with more swimsuit styles and colors for next year including one and two-piece suits and cover-ups. Swim is licensed to Mainstream Swimsuits Inc. Among other licensed products, scrubs are manufactured through a licensing agreement with CID Resources; phone cases are licensed to Incipio Technologies; sunglasses are from The McGee Group; Vera Bradley bedding is created

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