Lydia Hearst, Puma Go Mainstream

Lydia Hearst and Puma are teaming up again - this time for a more accessibly priced bag and a fitness line.

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Photo By WWD Staff

Hearst's Puma bag for holiday.

Photo By WWD Staff

Lydia Hearst and Puma are teaming up again — this time for a more accessibly priced bag and a fitness line.

After designing a limited edition luxury bag with the active company for February's New York Fashion Week, the model-socialite is redesigning the tennis racket-inspired bag for holiday — to hit stores Friday — at a more mainstream price and using eco-friendly materials. Then for next fall, Puma and Hearst again will collaborate to launch a full fitness collection, also green and accessibly priced.

Hearst's relationship with Puma began last year, when she modeled at the brand's French 77 global launch event in Monaco, where they plotted the creation of the limited edition Puma Lydia Bag by Heatherette. Puma made only 100 bags, most of which Hearst gave friends and the rest of which sold for $500 each at the two Puma Black stores.

"It's much easier to create a high-end bag than a mass market bag that everyone can afford," said Hearst. "But by looking at the bag, you wouldn't know it's mass market. I wanted to make sure anyone and everybody can enjoy my designs."

This round of bags, which Puma unveiled at a breakfast Tuesday at its Union Square store in Manhattan, will sell for $125 in all of Puma's concept stores and is targeted to the teen girl.

Like the original Lydia bag, this version is based on Puma's terry cloth racquet grip bag from its French 77 collection. But unlike the previous custom-leather version, the new incarnation is green-friendly and does not use leather. For holiday, it comes in two colorways, black patent with bright blue accents and silver.

For fall, Hearst and Puma will launch an activewear line. Pricing and designs for the collection are still in the works. Hearst again plans to use eco-friendly fabrics for the line, which is inspired by her daily workouts.

Hearst also conceived of and modeled in the in-store images promoting the bags. With a wig, makeup and lighting, Hearst said she "turned myself into a puma."

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