A while back when we began thinking about how we’d like to see Purse Blog grow, we had all sorts of ideas. Shoes? Clothing? Accessories? Well, it sort of dawned on us that for now, we should probably stick to what we know – handbags. As we got ready to launch Purse Blog Savvy we picked the Savvy brands and Kooba made the cut. I’ve mentioned it before, but a Kooba bag was one of the first handbags I ever had that I truly loved. I loved and still love everything about it – the shape, the color, the versatility, and of course, the compliments I get from others. Well, not only am I thrilled to feature Kooba more often on Purse Blog Savvy, but I am beyond ecstatic about the fact that during their next trip to NYC, Megs and Vlad will be meeting with Abbe Held, the creative director behind Kooba. In order to tempt you just a bit, Abbe was gracious enough to answer a few questions we had. We hope you enjoy this teaser and eagerly await the full interview like we do!
PB: Abbe, how did you originally get involved in the handbag world?
Abbe Held: Actually, it was my mother who got me involved;.she has a great passion for accessories and vintage shopping and continues to be my style inspiration. As we shopped for bags, we would never find exactly what we wanted to wear – handbags that had an edge or contemporary sense of style. Living in New York City, I was struck by how much sameness there was in the marketplace, so my mother and I took the leap and founded Kooba.
PB: Do you see a big difference in the way you now design bags compared to when you first began?
Abbe Held: Definitely;I think design is all about change, but I’m still inspired by vintage details and textures, and I’m still inspired by confident, free-thinking women who value quality and design, yet still have fun with fashion.
PB: When was it that you realized you “made it” (had a breakthrough) as a handbag designer?
Abbe Held: It was bittersweet;.I knew I had made it when I saw copies of Kooba bags on the street selling for $30! On the one hand I knew the brand was recognizable enough to be copied, but on the other hand counterfeiting is a big problem in our industry and bad for the brand.
PB: What is your favorite Kooba bag?
Abbe Held: Wow, that’s a hard question, because I’m obsessed with a few of them at the moment. I’m currently wearing Halle at night, Blake to the office and Tracy on the weekends.
PB: Who are designing for when you design your bags (what kind of audience do you try and appeal to)?
Abbe Held: Independent, strong women who are not beholden to trends, but use fashion to express their individuality. They would never buy a brand just for the name;.they appreciate quality, craftsmanship, functionality and attention to detail. They are constantly evolving, so we evolve with them.
PB: How do you feel when you see a celebrity carrying your bags?
Abbe Held: It’s always great to see your bags come to life on anyone, but it’s very flattering to know that these trend-setting women who could choose to wear any bag are enjoying their Koobas!
PB: What keeps you sane when the design world seems insane?
Abbe Held: I don’t know if they keep me sane, but my two young daughters definitely keep me grounded! Come Monday morning, however, I’m definitely ready to get back to the office.
PB: Can you tell us a bit about the colors you chose for this season?
Abbe Held: Vibrant jewel tones and rich browns; amethyst and caramel patent leathers; burnished metallic, that’s always good for holiday.
PB: Is there a certain tv show or magazine you can’t live without?
Abbe Held: As a native New Yorker, I can’t live without my daily fix of the Post and weekly New York Magazine. I’m not much of a TV watcher, but I love music;.I love everything from Barry White to Duffy, Amy Winehouse and Kanye West.
P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!