Lani Beck, who is know for her work with Handbago.com, happens to be one of the hottest new accessory designers to come out of Los Angeles, California. The emerging designer has created a line of jewelry and handbag accessories which are edgy, fresh and a little bit rock n’ roll. There is no doubt that when Fashionistas get wind of her amazing collection it will fly off store shelves! Cathy, Editor in Chief of Bay Area Fashionista, recently had the honor of interviewing Lani Beck about handbags, her collection and her inspiration. Enjoy!
Cathy: What inspired you to start your handbag accessory line?
Lani: Trends. There’s a huge trend of fringe and tassels that I was loving, but nothing was special about any of them. I wanted to carry something with cool hardware. I wanted to wear something that made a statement. I wanted something unexpected.
Cathy: What types of accessories does your line offer?
Lani: My line offers handbag accessories and jewelry. Light weight leather handbag tassels that add substance to any bag. Leather and chain jewelry, including fringe necklaces and bracelets. I’m hoping that cuffs will be in the works soon.
Cathy: Do you think you might branch into handbags one day?
Lani: I don’t know if handbags is in the future…funny saying that I say that since I’m viewed as a handbag expert! But who knows? I never thought that design was in my future at all, so obviously I had no idea what was to be planned for me and my career.
Cathy: Do you picture yourself starting other types of accessory or fashion collections?
Lani: I do want to expand. It’s just a matter of making time for one thing at a time. I just wish there were more hours in a day!
Cathy: Do you plan to have seasonal collections?
Lani: I don’t really believe in having “seasonal” collections. Jewelry is jewelry and should be designed and created to be worn all year long. Trends are either in or out…the season really has nothing to do with it; certain trends can stay “in” for more than just one season.
Cathy: How has your work at Handbago influenced your designs?
Lani: I suppose it’s a perk to work in the fashion industry…I get to be in the know of what some of the hottest trends will be and are and I get to decide how I would like to make them my own.
Cathy: How has your experience as a handbag journalist, blogger and expert influenced your collection?
Lani: I suppose I know what consumers are looking for. I know what the latest trends are. I also know what my own personal style is and I always incorporate my style into my designs. I’m not about “normal” pieces…I love pieces that make a statement while staying perfect for everyday wear.
Cathy: Was the handbag accessory line a new idea or is this something you have wanted to do for many years?
Lani: Honestly, I thought about it in December, I started making homemade samples in February…cutting leather by hand is not my forte! But then I got my business name and license in May and started my sales online soon after. To be completely frank, I never imagined my life even remotely close to the fashion industry! I was such a tomboy growing up…my best friends are still in shock!
Cathy: How do you balance your time between working at Handbago, on your blog and designing your collection?
Lani: I have no idea. I suppose I’m a serious Virgo…check lists, organizational tabs, etc. It’s definitely a difficult task. . .Hopefully, all is going well!
Cathy: Who are your favorite high-end, moderate price and affordable handbag designers?
Lani: High-end: Adriana Castro has amazing exotics…I just wish we could get our hands on them in California!
Moderate and Contemporary: Angel Jackson has some really interesting and hot designs that I’d love to sport around.
Affordable: feNa. Exotic-embossed leather clutches in wow-colors. Love.
Cathy: Who is your favorite couture designer?
Lani: Chanel. No explanation needed.
Cathy: Are there any designers who influence your style?
Lani: CC Skye is so cool. Rocker, glam and out there. I’m in love with original pieces that I can wear for everyday. I strive to have that in my own collection with cool statement designs.
Cathy: What is your favorite season for fashion and why?
Lani: Fall. I love being cozy.
Cathy: Which handbag are you coveting for fall? Have you purchased it yet?
Lani: I’ve been carrying around an exotic-embossed leather CC Skye satchel that’s a sample. I’m not sure if anyone else even has this bag, but I love it. What I would love to carry? A computer bag! I’ve been dying to find something that I love to carry my laptop in. How ironic that a techy computer nerd still carries my laptop in a sleeve!
Cathy: What are your favorite hobbies when you are not working?
Lani: Hiking, swimming and traveling. When I get the chance, I hike as often as possible. I swim laps at least twice a week. And if I don’t go somewhere different or do something different outside of work, I go nuts! I recently went on an excursion to Santa Barbara just to get dinner…nothing like an hour and a half drive for pasta!
Cathy: Is there anything you would like our readers to know that they may not know yet?
Lani: I like long walks on the beach and candle-lit dinners. Just kidding. But really…I’m one of the few vegetarians who appreciate quality leather goods because I grew up an Equestrian in Northern California, but I’ll be coming out with vegan options soon.
To learn more about Lani Beck’s collection, please visit her website at lanibeck.com or handbago.com.
*Special THANK YOU to Lani Beck for taking the time out of her busy schedule to do this interview. Thank you!
This interview was originally written and published by Cathy on examiner.com.
Lani Beck jewelry. Photo credit: Lani Beck