Frances Valentine opens in Palm Beach, honoring the late Kate Spade.
Arons and friend Jacqui Michel donning colorful tunics available at the store.
A while ago a Kate Spade company campaign led with the statement, “She who leaves a trail of glitter is not ever forgotten.” With the help of Spade’s longtime friend and business partner Elyce Arons, the opening of Frances Valentine couldn’t make that more true for her legacy. The modern lifestyle brand creating spirited, vintage-modern accessories and apparel serves as a testament to the joyful and inspired life that Spade lived and her lasting impact on those around her, and the world. Arons and Spade met as freshman journalism students in college, entering each other’s lives at an impressionable time as they approached adulthood and their careers—before there was a Kate Spade, just Katy. The two went into the business of creating classic and timeless yet modern bags and shoes that were askew from the trends of the times.
After 15 years of creating a brand that we now know as Kate Spade, the two launched a new direct-to-consumer brand together called Frances Valentine, now opening its third brick-and-mortar location in Palm Beach. “Palm Beach is the perfect place. Katy and I were here a couple of years ago and have always just loved the sense of community and spirit of giving,” says Arons. “The last trip she and I took together was actually to The Breakers and we stayed for about four days. She loved Palm Beach.” Positioned at 313 1/2 Worth Ave., right next to Via Bice, the lovely shopping addition houses everything from handbags, basket bags, sandals and Mary Janes to fun jewelry and apparel, like caftans, statement coats and jackets. “Our store feels like home and is incredibly welcoming. Our staff is gracious and just the nicest people you’d want to meet. It’s like shopping with a friend,” says Arons.
In store, The Love, Katy collection features designs inspired by Spade’s own colorful and vintage wardrobe, born out of clients continuous requests for Spade’s clothes from photographs. “My favorite item of the moment is the gold sequin jacket, which I have worn over and over from cocktail parties to jeans and a T-shirt for everyday,” says Arons. “It was inspired by one of Katy’s favorite vintage pieces from long ago.” Caftans also hold a lot of weight in Frances Valentine’s repertoire and the Palm Beach uniform. “Our caftans are one of my favorites, and we have them in wonderfully bold colors. Katy and I used to take trips to Mexico just to shop for these exquisitely embroidered pieces,” says Arons.
The Palm Beach location is bright and open, perfect for hosting private shopping events and more.
The brand aims at making a thoughtful product, inspiring joy in its customers and creating graciousness, kindness, color and hope in communities in more ways than one. Arons continues to work with and support the Hope for Depression foundation and local Palm Beach founder Audrey Gruss in their fight against depression and other emotional disorders. The new store is not only aimed at continuing the Kate Spade legacy but to inspire customers to be bold and simply wear what makes them happy—just as Katy would. 313 1/2 Worth Ave.
Photography by: Brand