By Claudina Hannon
Your handbags’ designs are very structural and also have a great level of detail to them. What are some of your inspirations when creating new handbags?
That probably stems from my background as an interior designer. I also studied architecture, so as soon as I say that, people say, “OK, I get it” because [of] the angles. I’m very tactile, I like dimension, and I tend to like clean silhouettes with a little edge.
Your Nikita clutch was quite popular because it was featured on the show “Empire.” What other television shows do you think would be a good fit to feature your designs?
Because the look is kind of edgy, I wouldn’t head in the realm of someone who’s more conservative. This particular collection has the edge because of the cone spikes and the chain, but other designs I’m working on [will have] cleaner silhouettes with very minimal hardware [with] that sculptural feel. There’s one particular show that people have mentioned, and that would be Kerry Washington’s show “Scandal.” For this collection I don’t necessarily see it, but with the other collection I’m working on, I can see it. [I can see it working on] celebrities like Rihanna and even Taylor Swift, who also has good style.
What do you think women from our area find most appealing about your handbags?
The immediate thing that I hear is that they love the edge. I wanted to be able to design products that [are functional], and I want women to get full utilization of them and not just pull them out of their closet every now and then. I want them to use the bags, but I want them to be works of art on their arms. With this particular collection—because of the cone spikes especially—women say, “Oh that is so edgy; I love it.” When you’re running around your day-to-day life, it’s nice to have something that makes you feel a little extra special, and with this collection you can feel a little more rocker as you’re conquering the world.
You’ve started offering new hardware options for the Raven Satchel/Backpack and the Chantal Tote. Is that something you will also offer in your future collections?
Oh yeah, definitely across the board. I had started with the nickel because that was one hardware metal that most women would gravitate to because they try to connect it with their jewelry and things like that. But there was another segment of women who do gold, so I said, “OK, I really need to balance this out.” So with this shipment, I decided to split it, and that will be [the case] going forward, I think—unless the leather dictates that I use a third metal. With the black leather, it can go either way, so I decided to offer both.
Let’s jump to fall for a moment. What’s next for you, and when should people expect a new collection?
Because of me launching at the beginning of this year, of course I need to fall in cycle with the industry. So the fall collections of course have already been announced, and it turns out that my collection already fits in with the fall trends of 2015, which is excellent! So I will fall in line and see what’s coming out in the spring. But the next collection that I would like to do, which I’ve already actually designed and built prototypes for, is very sculptural, clean [with] minimal to no hardware. It has shapes that I haven’t seen on the marketplace yet. It’s just a matter of which leathers, what’s going to speak to me as far as materials and whatnot. The goal is to get the four bags in the first collection in full circulation with the possibility of rolling out other colors before I even remotely think about putting out the second collection—black isn’t going be the only color.
Lorra’s Handbag Shopping Tips
- The trends for the fall are the fur bags, the rocker-type bags. That’s where my collection fits in.
- The exotic skins, the metals, the spikes—there are trends at every price level, depending on how much you want to invest and whether it’s something you’re going to pull out season after season.
- Be a little edgy; be a little bold. Have fun with whatever grabs you. Handbags can be a reflection of your personality. Stay true to something that feels classy with an edge.
Lorra Rivers is currently having a pre-fall sale on her website through Aug. 8.
Lorra Rivers’ Fall 2015 Collection