Worth New York is a fashion house by, for and about women. It was founded in 1991 by a woman, Caroline Davis — along with the late designer Richard Kaplan and textile manufacturer Jay Rosenberg.
It has created a team of some 500 stylists around the country, who show the collection in their homes and receive a percentage of the sales, women like Lucy Haynes, Davis’ daughter and a top seller out of Nashville; and Meg McAuley Kaicher, who recently showed pieces from the collection at her home and at J House, both in Greenwich. (The collection is again on view at Kaicher’s home through Sept. 6 and at J House from Sept. 14 through 28.)
But most of all, the collection of women’s wear and accessories has something for every woman, especially those who love a couture look and feel but not necessarily couture prices.
“We dress every woman and every lifestyle,” showroom coordinator Angela Smith says over coffee at J House. “We meet the needs of working women, the woman who lunches and the women at leisure.”
And they do it with three collections, one of which pays tribute to pioneering aviator — and onetime Harrison and Rye resident — Amelia Earhart. The Journey On collection, with its on-trend military snap, includes a map-like scarf with flowers marking Earhart’s global stops. The Ivy League collection draws on menswear for inspiration. Think plaid, argyle and intarsia, a multicolored pattern. Last but not least, there’s Lady Luxe, a collection that enables women to channel their inner Faye Dunaway from her “Network” heyday in rich earth tones.
Dunaway was giving her breakout performance in “Bonnie and Clyde” in 1967, the year Davis, a New York City resident, decided she wanted to buy a luxury vacuum. When her husband suggested it was extravagant, Davis determined to become financially independent. Luxury direct sales of women’s clothes was the route she took, moving from local representative to manager and founding The Carlisle Collection in 1980.
Davis was out of Carlisle 10 years later when Kaplan approached her about luxury direct selling, and soon Worth New York was born.
The clothes are designed at the Manhattan flagship but made overseas of Italian fabrics.
“We can offer couture quality at good values, because we don’t have standalone retail stores,” Kaicher says.
“I’d say the pieces are priceless,” Smith adds.
And so is Davis’ philosophy by way of author Jill Ker Conway, Smith College’s first female president: “A strong group of women peers is the most powerful thing a woman can have.”