Handbag Chatter With Signal Brands’ Jason Rimokh

by Dena Silver
Jason Rimokh

Sure, purses might be the greatest invention since sliced bread, but they’re also vital to a global brand’s success in the market. Your Daily had a chat with Jason Rimokh, the CEO and co-owner of Signal Brands, the international licensing firm that takes charge of everything from clutches to luggage for brands likes of Isaac Mizrahi to Trina Turk. But we’ll let Jason take the handle on this one…

What do you do at Signal Brands?
I come from a family who has a long line of experience in the fashion industry, mostly in the apparel business. My father owned a very big company in the ‘80s called Condor, but then he got into the accessory business. By the time I was coming into it, 20 years ago, he got the license to do handbags and leather goods, which we turned into a $300 million business. That’s the biggest handbag business, after Coach and Michael Kors. We’ve become experts with sorting, design, production, and branding within a brand. We work with Guess Handbags, Splendid, Ella Moss, Trina Turk, and Isaac Mizrahi Travel.

Exactly how global is your biz?
Our business is actually bigger outside the US than it is. We are set up through seven distributor partnerships in over 60 different countries. And we have a large office of product development in Hong Kong, a design studio in Florence, and showrooms in LA, New York, and Hong Kong.

What is your number one country for sales?
Europe, specifically France.

How many months out of the year are you travelling internationally?
Five months!

Do you have a favorite work destination?
I love Asia as a whole, but I really love Hong Kong.

What do you like about that city?
I love the The Landmark Mandarin Oriental there and I’m a big foodie and wine guy so I love the cuisine and tastes that Hong Kong offers.

Why are handbags such an important category?
Launching handbags is a gateway to success for any brand. If you look at all the giant brands in the last 60 years, you recognize that they all have signature handbags and then everything kind of filters from there.

Signal Brands does the licensing for Guess Handbags, so who’s your favorite Guess girl?
I still love Claudia Schiffer because I thought that represented the most iconic period for Guess. In modern times I think Kate Upton was right on track.

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