As we commemorate our 30th anniversary, Liz, our resident Trend Reporter, sat down with Executive Vice President of Design Kim Colby, Vice President of Design and Product Development Veronique Poudrier and Merchandising and Assortment Manager Emily McCabe for the details on Leather Trim.
Liz: What made you choose this combination of material to celebrate Vera Bradley’s 30th anniversary?
VP: We love the idea of dressing up our patterns for a special occasion. We were inspired by the fashion trend of mixing print with texture and colors. For our 30th anniversary we wanted to create a few special styles that give the identifiable Vera Bradley print an unexpected and polished element. As this trend continues, we look forward to giving you more colorful options to mix and match with your favorite Vera Bradley prints.
EM: Adding leather trim is an easy way for our consumer to express herself. We decided to release it over the holiday season because it is the perfect time for her to dress up her look.
Liz: How did we select the colors for Leather Trim?
VP: Editing down to a few colors is always difficult! We wanted this collection to be exclusive, so we limited it to four colors, which were selected to represent a range of Vera Bradley print styles.
EM: Each color offers a different look and feel, and ties back to the rich black or brown leather trim the design team selected.
KC: Choosing neutral-colored leather let the hues of each pattern shine. We selected some of the newest colors as well as Suzani (from Winter 2011). We just couldn’t resist Suzani’s trendy jewel-tone palette combined with rich black trim.
Liz: What is the story behind the names of each style?
VP: The Barbara, a frame bag named after our Co-founder, is Barb’s favorite. The Patricia is a crossbody, one of our most popular styles, and is stylish and practical. And, the Anniversary Wristlet, in its minimalist way, allows functionality to still be chic and timeless for girls of all ages. It’s a piece you can carry with you as an accessory or on its own.
KC: Thinking about 30 years of Vera Bradley we immediately thought of our Co-founders Barbara and Patricia, and how perfect it would be to celebrate this milestone by naming a style after each of them.
Liz: Which is your favorite piece from the collection?
VP: The Patricia Crossbody! I love its double personality. On the front, the leather trimmed flap and logo turnlock give it a great classic look. The interior is just roomy enough for all your basics, but then you unzip the back panel and find a complete wallet function. Chic and practical; it’s the best of both worlds.
KC: I love the Barbara Frame Bag! It’s the perfect mix of color, style, sophistication and fun. The size and silhouette are so good looking. It’s a great new classic.
EM: The Barbara Fame Bag is my favorite, too. I love the frame detail and the fact that it functions as a handheld style or a shoulder bag with the detachable strap. I carry a lot of things, so I love that it’s spacious enough to carry my essentials, yet stylish enough for a night out. When I carry this bag it feels like a part of my outfit and makes me feel special!
Liz: Did you have someone or something specific in mind (a certain customer, a certain trend) when designing these styles?
VP: We were really striving to cover all the features our customers love: function, great style and practicality. Plus, we wanted to give them a little extra dimension with the leather trim; that unexpected delight we love to offer.