Nov 14, 2013
11:37 AM
Style & Shopping

Post Tiffany & Co., Lambertson Truex Handbag Virtuosity at Privet House

Post Tiffany & Co., Lambertson Truex Handbag Virtuosity at Privet House

A handbag and gloves from the Lambertson Truex private collection, from which pieces will be offered starting Saturday at Privet House in New Preston.

“Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.”

— Coco Chanel

The legendary French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel line also memorably said, “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”

When she said “dress,” the advice doubtless covered the entire look, with the right accessories ranking as indispensable.

Those who appreciate the value of sophisticated luxury handbags and accessories—the aesthetics, the feeling of confidence, the inner harmony and success that result—have a rare opportunity beginning Saturday, Nov. 16, and continuing for a couple of weeks.

The brilliant design team behind Lambertson Truex, Richard Lambertson and John Truex, will be offering handbags and other pieces hand-selected from their private collection for sale at the shop Privet House, located in the shopping haven of New Preston in the Litchfield Hills. (Truex, far left, and Lambertson in a photo courtesy of

The collection launches at noon Saturday with an opening event, at which the designers will personalize each handbag sold with their signatures. (Privet House has a second location in Greenwich, but the private collection items will be offered only in New Preston.)

On display this Saturday, according to a release on the special presentation, will be an archival selection of Lambertson Truex handbags, gloves, belts and wallets. “For the opening, opulent leopard bags will share shelf space with opera length shearling green gloves and deep chocolate satin clutches with coveted LT snap closures. Many of these same designs have been favorites of Reese Witherspoon, Debra Messing and Mary J. Blige,” the release said.

“These are bags from John’s and my personal collection,” Lambertson elaborated by phone Thursday. “We have hundreds of bags in our personal archive. We just decided to share them and sell them at Privet House exclusively.”

“It’s going to go on for a couple of weeks,” he added, saying, “We’ll keep refreshing collection.”

That collection bespeaks the Lambertson Truex ethos with impeccable craftsmanship, a sometimes insouciantly American aesthetic, a refined sense of luxury and, ultimately, a timeless sophistication and style that makes any woman more fully what she already is—beautiful, ascendant, successful … .

While the Privet House de-accessioning may seem like an heirloom event, it actually signals something fresh, new and undeniably exciting.

Lambertson and Truex, after having moved on from their own brand to join Tiffany & Co. in 2009 as executives and design directors of the Tiffany Leather Collection, are now poised for “re-launching our brand, staring with the vintage,” Lamberston said. (Above photo by Lily and Camelia Photography.)

They left Tiffany Oct. 1, regained their own trademark and have already started working on a new collection, as well as doing some consulting and laying the foundation to bring Lambertson Truex style back from a home base of Litchfield County—they have a home in Sharon—not from New York City.

“We’re thinking more creatively,” said Lambertson, mentioning that they are investigating opening their own store, having an online presence and possibly doing trunk shows, as well as having Privet House serve as a strategically stylish point of distribution.

“We’re thinking of designing some exclusive accessories for Privet House in the future as well,” Lambertson said.

Privet House, which most know from its distinction of being among the first shops tapped by the retail giant Target for its signature The Shops at Target higher-style initiative, is the venture of Lamberston and Suzanne Cassano, a fashion world force in her own right.

It was launched alongside Cassano’s antiques business, Vol. 1 Antiques, in the tiny town of Warren, and in April of this year moved to new location in New Preston (which is beside Lake Waramaug and part of the town of Washington), where Privet House and Vol. 1 Antiques are joined under the same roof in an 1870s building.

“Privet House continues to be a mecca for both the A-List designer and the discerning customer seeking unique pieces personally selected from around the world,” the release on Saturday’s launch said.


The Privet House website offers more: “A charming Connecticut shop with locations in the idyllic town of New Preston in the hills of Litchfield County and in the bustling town of Greenwich in Fairfield County, Privet House bills itself as ‘An Emporium of Home Goods, Antiques and Curiosities’. Within a welcoming and visually striking environment, proprietors Richard Lambertson and Suzanne Cassano pride themselves on building an exquisitely curated collection of goods for the home and garden...and, just possibly, the soul.

“Antiques, vintage finds and decorative wares from the world over share the spotlight with Cire Trudon perfumed candles and Santa Maria Novella bath and body products. A unique collection of kitchen, housekeeping and personal care brushes imported from Germany, have become our calling card and makes Privet House a well-love destination. Ditto for Hotel Silver, European and Japanese table linens, towels from Turkey and Belgian glassware. Stacks upon stacks of vintage and out-of-print books add to the serendipity.

“The shop's devotees include an international roster of interior decorators, architects and fashion designers in addition to A-list celebrities. A major fan was Target, who was so smitten with the shop's individual viewpoint, uncommon mix and savvy vibe that they chose Privet House as one of only five retailers to collaborate on their premiere ‘The Shops At Target’ initiative which debuted in Spring 2012.”

As for the talents behind Lambertson Truex, in 2000 they were awarded the CFDA Accessories Design of the Year and the ACE Award for Design Excellence.

Lambertson began his career with Saks Fifth Avenue, working with the visual department, before moving on to Bergdorf Goodman, and later Barneys New York, where he developed the line of accessories.

He went on to become design director for Gucci, in 1990, working in Milan, Italy, and when he returned it was to take the helm as CEO of Geoffrey Beene. Then it was back to Bergdorf Goodman, as senior vice president and creative director, before going on to launch Lamberston Truex.

Truex’s first post in  New York was with the accessories house of Carlos Falchi, where his positions included vice president of design. He went on to become director of design and sourcing at ck Calvin Klein in 1996, and from there it was on to co-founding Lambertson Truex.

“Throughout all this time, their customer has always been an independent woman who seeks those statement pieces that are a perfect balance between modern classicism and luxurious materials,” the release on Saturday’s launch says.

But men shouldn’t feel left out. “At Lamberston Truex, we always had a strong men’s collection,” said Lambertson. “There are some men’s things in the sale, mostly small leather goods.”

And Lambertson called men’s fine leathers and accessories a “wide open” field, which portends well for sophisticated men who feel the style scales of justice too often tip in favor of women.

To learn more, see the Facebook page of Privet House, and the website, which has all the necessary details for connecting with the New Preston and Greenwich locations. The New Preston shop is at 13 East Shore Rd., and the phone number is (860) 868-1800.


Post Tiffany & Co., Lambertson Truex Handbag Virtuosity at Privet House

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