Get to know the designing duo behind Annalynne McCord and Jessica Szohr’s edgy purses!
If you aren’t familiar with Treesje designers Sheila Nazarian and Laura Darrah, I’m sure you have spotted their stellar handbag collection in stores or on your favorite ladies in Hollywood! With an in-store event at Saks in Beverly Hills on March 27 — which grew quite the celeb crowd, including Mena Suvari, Kate Mara and Krysten Ritter, who brought along her boy, Ivan Sergei — and their handbags hanging off the arms of the most stylish starlets in Hollywood, it looks like the Treesje designers are on top of their game! We got to catch up with the designing pals, Laura Darrah, (who is responsible for the cool, clean style), and Sheila Nazarian, (who can’t get enough of edgy hardware!), who dished about their dream job, the first time they saw a celeb carrying one of their designs, and what it’s like working with a pal. The pair even offered up some bag advice for the girl on the go! Here’s what they had to say.
If a girl is getting ready for a trip and she can only bring one bag along with her, what’s her best bet?
She would want to take a bag that she can carry during the day and easily be able to turn it into a night bag as well. Our Marley Mini works great for this because it fits everything that you need plus a little extra room for travel essentials. It’s small enough to tote to dinner or a night out dancing. The detachable long strap makes it a great travel bag as well. Another perfect bag for travel is our Jovi. Crossbody bags are fashionable and so convenient because you are able to spend your time with your hands free whether you’re sight seeing, shopping, or hanging out with friends. It also has a removable strap so that it can be carried as a clutch at night.
What was it like the first time you saw a celebrity carrying one of your designs, and who was it?
When we spotted our Asher Grande on Lauren Conrad, it was just so flattering. Not only is that bag one of our all time favorite bags, but we believe Lauren has great style. We realize that celebrities are handed clothing and fashion accessories constantly, so to think that they would choose your brand is an indescribable feeling.
Is there someone you would love to see carrying your bags?
We would love to see someone like Sienna Miller, Kate Moss or Angelina Jolie carry our bags. They wear the style of handbags we strive to create.
What do you guys always carry in your bag? Is that something you think about when you’re designing?
We always take functionality into consideration when designing our bags. Since we’re always on the go and traveling, we always take our phones, cameras, sketchbook, shades, keys and make-up essentials: so basically our whole lives in our handbags at all times! When we design our bags, we make sure they feature deep cell phone pockets and a keyhook. There is nothing worse then digging in your bag for either of them. We also add functional pockets, such as the outside on our Asher, which increases storage space and enhances the design.
What’s it like meeting your costumers? What type of advice do you give them?
Meeting our customers is an amazing experience because the best feedback a designer can receive is from the consumer directly. Treesje customers are always so positive, so it is always a very rewarding experience. We usually let the customer do all of the advice giving, rather than ourselves. They tell us what they want and it really does shape our future collections.
What designers inspire you?
We are inspired by Chanel, Balenciaga, Chloe, and Miu Miu.
How do you guys come up with your designs? How do you deal if the two of you have different or conflicting ideas?
We get our inspiration from both our travels and everyday lives in LA. We also find influence in upcoming trends and consumer feedback. Whenever we disagree on ideas we still move forward because it is a blessing in disguise. One of the benefits about having two designers is we attract a much larger fan base. Our line marries both perspectives, so both our visions comes across.
Any tips for someone hoping to break into your field?
Our best advice would be to have a great business partner that complements both your strengths and weaknesses. The job does appear to be glamourous, but it is a lot of hard work! Designing and manufacturing under tight timelines can be overwhelming so we’ve found that having a partner and trustworthy employees to lean on is key.
What’s up next for you guys? Would you ever branch into footwear or clothing?
We are including belts and bracelets into our Fall 2010 line. Eventually we would like to begin designing clothing as well!