Monica: I do, badly, but I do.
Vlad: I was born in Prague and I am Czech and still speak Czech to this day with my parents. So we are pretty much neighbors!
Monica: Yes we are! I could tell you have an Eastern European look.
PB: One of the things that many people wanted to know on our Botkier forum; Bot-key-Ã©?
Monica: You can say either way. Bot-key-Ã© or Bot-key-er
Monica: It is a great question. At this point I am seeing that the best of the best of young designers are being asked to do these projects. It is quite a challenge. It is not about taking one of my hits and re-doing it in cheaper leather, for me I took it real seriously. I took it on as an artistic project. I was really flattered because so many big designers are doing something similar; Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney doing for H&M.
PB: Why not take the path of Marc Jacobs, similar to how we created Marc by Marc?
Monica: Because I feel like the niche that we are in is just the right niche. We are a designer brand that is very approachable. Everything is like a designer brand. We do custom hardware, designs, leathers, ad campaigns. But you are not paying the thousand-dollar price point. We are really around the $595 to $695 range. I really like the place that we are. With the shoes we are trying to create the same thing. It is not a Louboutin but it is a thong for $225 but it is hand crafted in Italy, same designer approach.
PB: There was a question about your manufacturing locations. First you started off crafting your bags in the US and then moved to Indonesia. Would you ever consider doing a small premium price collection to be based out of New York again?
Monica: Well let me tell you that the quality is superb. We work with a Korean based factory that works with some of the biggest names in the industry. They have 30 years experience. The owner treats everyone like family. The attention that we get, the quality, the on time delivery, well it was not happening in New York. In New York the ability to customize the hardware was lagging along with the quality. I feel very comfortable with what we are doing. I would love to, for more patriotic reasons, to keep this in my hometown. But it just was not working. I want people to feel comfortable because these factories have major experience. It is a real relationship; we see them 2-3 times per season, they come here, we go there. I think the customers are getting better quality.
PB: Are there any particular designers that you admire or take inspiration from?
Monica: Probably my favorite designer label right now is Miu Miu and it has been for a while. I love what they do.
PB: I find myself drawn to Miu Miu more than Prada lately.
Monica: It is very special line and has a very strong direction. It is edgy and feminine at the same time.