Laura Darrah and Sheila Nazarian of TreesjeWe are always on the hunt for the next big designers emerging in the handbag and purse world. Many times I don’t even have to search, as the designers and their ever-growing popularity comes to me. Continually seeing talk on Treesje on our Purse Forum, I realized it was time to look into the designers. It was quite fitting then that soon after I was introduced to their line, Vlad and I were invited to an event at Saks in NYC where the designers from Treesje, Laura Darrah and Sheila Nazarian, would be making an appearance. Treesje proves to be one of the strongest up and comers, offering casual styles with a wide variety of bold colors. The style of the bags are very laid-back, very LA, just like the designers behind the brand. Vlad and I first met Sheila and we all hit it off. She was so easy to talk to that I could see us being lunch buddies if we did not live approximately 2348 miles apart. Sheila showed us the designs from Treesje and gave us a chance to interview her about the line. Find more information at Treesje online and stay tuned for many more reviews from this brand!

Make sure to click on the thumbnails to see the name and price of the bag.

treesje asherPB: Where did you come up with your unique name, Treesje?

Treesje: We were both bridesmaids in a mutual friends wedding and we took the bride’s middle name. She was named about her moms best friend who is Treesje and she is from Australia.

PB: How did you decide to get into handbags?

Treesje: Well Laura has a business background and I have a fine arts background. I don’t know, it kind of fell into our laps. Laura was traveling around the world and she came back from Bali and she had these really cute beaded bags. I told her “I could sell those for you like crazy!!”. And one thing lead to another; we just started with these beaded bags and one day I called her up and said “Why don’t we design our own bags?”. So it was the matter of finding the leather and getting things going.


PB: How did you and Laura meet?

Treesje: Well we went college together at the University of San Diego but just didn’t know each other. We had friends in common. But we really met when we were bridesmaids together. And the bag talk started when she brought the beaded bag to the shower, so it really started there!

PB: How funny! And when did you start your line?

Treesje: We are going into our fourth year now.

PB: And this seems like it is a huge season for you…

Treesje: Absolutely. I think we started out kind of underground and this is kind of a company that has been going and going. But just recently every girl on the street is starting to carry a Treesje bag and other girls see it and want that bag. So I feel like we build our business very organically.

treesje patent avalonPB: We feel the same way about our site. We do not push it too hard and just let it grow naturally.

Treesje: I think that is the best way! I think it is the proper way of doing it. I don’t want to push it on people or celebrities. Now celebrities are going to the store and buying them so it is really like what is a better way than that?!

PB: We have been told that many large designer houses send out 1,500 bags at a time to PR agencies and celebrities world wide hoping to have a celebrity carry their bags. Is that something you stray away from, having an “it” bag?

Treesje: No, I think every line likes to be an “it” bag. We don’t want to build on line on an “it” bag though. We are very diverse girls! We have the bows, ruffles, pleated family. We like to cater to a little bit of everything for everybody in the line, rather than trying to make the “it” bag and riding on that. We are really into designing and making functionally bags, having a full line and full collection, to show the depth of who we are as designers. We do this rather than trying to make that one bag.

treesje viennaPB: What do you focus most on in your designs, what is the prominent theme, who does it cater to?

Treesje: It caters to a range of people. It is definitely for your 25-50 year old lady in my opinion. But we do a little bit of conservative and feminine touches with an urban appeal. So that is the way we like to go. We have very feminine and then have our more edgy sophisticated bags too.

PB: Well you have popping bold colors!

Treesje: Yes, color is a big thing for us. We love color! And the reason we do this is because Laura and I are such casual dressers; we are usually wife beater, jeans, and flip flops. We are from LA so we really want the bag to make the outfit.

treesje monacaPB: So you use mainly patent leather and lambskin?

Treesje: Most of our leather is lamb and it is really a soft subtle leather that can really mold after you have worn it. It really molds to your body and your figure.

PB: Where do you draw your inspiration from? Do you have a designer that you look up to?

Treesje: Yes, there are a couple of designers that we both love. We are a big fan of Jimmy Choo! I know that they are a young designer but there is something very sophisticated and funky about his designs and the way they work. We really love Chanel, which is an old time classic. And then one of the younger people, what she was before. She really hand a great mind of how to build a business and she had a bag for every single person. They are all over the spectrum but it really sums up who we are.

PB: Where do you live now?

Treesje: We both moved up to LA. I was born and raised in LA, so for me it is home. I love it!

treesje avalonPB: Where are most of your bags made?

Treesje: Most of our bags are currently made in China. All of the elements come from Italy, the hardware and leather. But the bags are made in China.

PB: We see a bit of a tendency that people like to have their bags made in the USA from designers like yourselves. Are you planning on doing that or is that not viable?

Treesje: Financially I do not think it is possible. Right now, a lot of people are price conscious. They want the awesome bag in the $500-$600 price range. If you start producing the bags in the USA, which we actually were doing before, the bags will start running into the $1000′s of dollars. It is hard to do that now though.

PB: What is the next goal of Treesje?

Treesje: Our next goal is to get into fashion, in clothing.

treesje marseillePB: That is exciting because most accessory designers want to stick strictly to accessories.

Treesje: Well we did that. We have dabbled in accessories. My true love is clothing design. My mom was a designer in France for many years, so my true heart stands with the clothing. I love doing handbags but eventually, if we can look at this in 5 years, I think we will be doing handbags and clothing.

PB: And how do you envision your clothing line?

Treesje: A little bit of cas’ but also ultra chic. I think I would get influenced more by the Parisian and definitely the French look with sophisticated long coats, and stuff like that. Not runway- but not just casual. We are excited, so hopefully it will happen! But we can’t even keep up with the handbags right now!

PB: Oh, we know. The same thing happens to us online. Hard to keep up.

Treesje: I know! You also need to build and have great employees, it is a lot of work to do it all. But we are hoping, we will see. That is what our goal is.

And right as this question ended we got to meet Laura Darrah, the other half of Treesje. We continued to chat with them, admire their bags, and watch groups of women go grab a bag, hold it, and say how much she loved it. This brand may have started off underground, but they are most definitely above ground now and we are all watching!

treesje mortale totetreesje london grandetreesje luna

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  • Sarah

    I have been waiting to hear more about this designer! I love their bags, they are beautiful! Thank you for the great interview!!! :mrgreen:

  • Grace

    I really like the designs of these bags. I would buy a few of them. The only thing that might stop me is that the bag is made in China. (I know Marc by Marc Jacob is made in China too) But aren’t there other designers out there that are in the $500-$700 range that are still made in the US???

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Vlad

      Rebecca Minkoff is, from what I understand.

      • minnie

        but
        rebecca minkoff doesn’t create that many styles in one season so basically she is very successful in a few bags’ style such as Morning After but not every designer’s bag sale depend on one or two styles of their bags and the cost to create new patterns is expensive let alone blocks and hardwares and that will add up to the cost for each bag when it comes to production. I love Rebecca Minkoff but I can see why many designers move their production oversea if they want to keep their price range

  • Irina

    I think Carla Mancini still is as well as Andrea Brueckner. Oh and Bulga too.

    http://www.andreabrueckner.com/
    http://www.carlamancini.com/
    http://bulgausa.com/

  • mette

    I don´t like these bags at all. Okay they are very affordable and that might be a + for them. They just look so much like the bags produced way before.

    • Julie

      Hi Mette,

      Not everyone WILL like every bag. These are different than the bags I sell, but that’s the beauty. These bags are very attractive, well made and reasonably priced. Come on, can’t you see yourself sporting just ONE of these? I think you could… lol. Your opinion counts, like all, but the possibility exists they may be going for a retro look.

      Julie
      http://www.NuttinButLeather.com

  • ivy

    you are right. they look very similar to chloe

  • Niz

    Nowadays, so many bags are made in China to cut cost! Sheesh. Well Treesje have come interesting bags but it doesn’t quite appeal to me. Perhaps, it takes time. Hehe! :)

  • carrie

    I love Treesje bags!!! The Asher is my favorite. Wish I could have it in every color.

  • Anilu Magloire

    I like some of them. Lots of beautiful details.

  • mette

    So sorry Julie,but I can´t imagine myself with any of these. IMO they are too baggy and as I´ve written before, I prefer the ones that have more structure, ones which make some statement. Btw,I don´t have many bags. Less is more to me.

  • joelle

    I love these treesje bags!!! i own three of these and i get stopped everywhere i go. The quality is great and there is so much to choose from.
    they are upcoming designers to watch!!!

    • sarah

      hello
      jus wondering about the quality, is it very durable? xx

  • Helen

    The treesje bags are beautiful, the comment about the bags being for the 25-50 year old range, I’m 53 so is she saying I’m too old for her style of handbags(that wouldn’t stop me though)? It does bother me that their made in China, Rebecca Minkoff handbags are made in NY and they’re in the same price range.

  • Kimberley

    The bags are gorgeous! I would not buy them since they are made in China though. Thanks for the great interview and letting consumers know.

  • meatbun

    Rebecca Minkoff is starting to have some of her bags made in China. I saw the MAB in quilted patent at the store the other day and the tag read “Made in China”. Needless to say, I was highly disappointed. It’s so sad that manufacturing and textiles is a lost business in the USA. I guess US businesses want cheap slave labor to make their products.

  • Melanie

    I am not sure that I totally understand the problem you ladies have with bags being made in China. You should really ask more questions before you jump to conclusions that they will be “poorly made” or “slave labor”. There are some very well known factories and craftsmen in China. Its really too bad that some factories being run poorly and being inhumane have made people expect this from a country as a whole.

  • Christy

    I spent my hard earned money on a Treesje bag (the Hudson Hobo) in a pretty yellow color. The leather is way too delicate. I had the leather treated, carried the bag a handful of times and it is filthy. Too dirty to carry. A professional cleaner says that it is stained for good. And the leather (albeit seemingly good quality) is so heavy that it pulls the bag down, stretching the handle. Gorgeous bag, completely wrong choice in non-durable materials. I’ve been extremely disappointed, even MORE disappointed when I tried to seek help from the Treesje company themselves. Needless to say, it’s been a bad customer experience and they won’t help me out with my situation at all. I won’t buy their products ever again!

  • christi

    Granted, not every style of bag will appeal to all people. I have been a handbag collector for 25 years with my first designer handbag purchase being a Fendi in 1985. I have owned almost every well known designer with the exception of LV because I personally find them unappealing. And I feel that Treesje bags are the best quality bags you will find in the price range by far. I’ve never needed a single repair, the leather is the quality you normally only find in the $1k and up price range. The hardware and craftsmanship as well. In response to the comments about the leather staining, I have yet to see a soft leather light colored handbag in this price range that didn’t have issues in this area. It is near impossible for a handbag to have a certain type of leather and not stain under certain conditions. To avoid that, you should probably choose highly treated leather as you would find in a more structured bag as they are more stain resistant. But if you like the look of a slouchy or soft leather bag in a light color, you will be hard pressed to find one that will not stain and still have all the characteristics of the type of leather that Treesje is known for. I know very well because I’ve had numerous light colored soft colored bags stained over the years after only a couple of uses. Todays’s jeans and light colored bags do not make a good pairing unfortunately. Less expensive bags tend to hold up to stains better also. It just seems the more I pay for a bag the more sensitive it is. I just think its unfair to blame the company. I have yet to find a company that will replace a stained bag. I have owned over 20 Treesje bags and have been happy with the quality and get more compliments on my Treesje bags than any other. I will continue to be a loyal customer.

  • Emer

    many branded bags, including cole haan, are made in china. i don’t see anything wrong with that. i think the creators/designers make sure that their manufacturer in china adhere to quality standards.
    one thing i’d like to know about treesje bags, and i’d appreciate if anyone of you could help me in this regard, is how to tell if a treesje bag is authentic or fake. i read in the purseforum that authentic  treesje bags have “treesje” engraved on the brass zipper pull. is this always the case? do the first treeje bags have the brand engraved on the zipper pull?
    i hope someone would answer this for me. i’d appreciate it very much.

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