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One of my favorite online boutiques to browse and shop is Their selection is vast and the options are always on par for the season. But I rarely think about who is behind picking the handbags to show all of us season after season. If you wondered the same thing, wonder no more! We had a chance to get to know the Contemporary Buyer for, Jen Ely. Jen took some time out of her busy schedule to answer some of our questions.

PB: Who do you have in mind when buying bags for eLuxury?

I keep key trends of the season top of mind when it comes to Contemporary handbag selection for the site. Our customer is on the cutting edge of fashion and wants the latest and greatest to choose from every season. I focus on making my mix of brands, styles and colors as unique as possible so that customers know they can come to for both that exclusive, new, “IT” bag, as well as a staple, essential bag that they might not be able to find elsewhere. I keep in mind what bags have sold best from each brand in past seasons, as well as a creating a compelling mix of new designers and key existing designers. A great handbag is a perfect piece to invest in, and I want my customers to get excited when they find THE bag on, so I keep that in mind throughout the buying process!

PB: If someone asked you the perfect everyday bag that could last them a few seasons under $500, what would you tell them it is?

The Marc by Marc Jacobs Dr. Q Groovee bag. It is the perfect medium size for everyday use, and not too big to bring out at night after work. It can be used as a handheld, or worn using the removable shoulder strap, and it’s made of amazingly soft but durable leather. It has fun pleat detailing, and is seasonless. The best part about it is that it comes in black, cream, grey, and various browns if you want a more neutral color, but it is also offered in various brights each season; we are almost sold out of the bright grape juice and lime colorways!

PB: Which new designers are you most impressed with?

3.1 Phillip Lim, Loeffler Randall, and Rag & Bone have quickly expanded into Handbags, and are growing their offering in this category every season. All 3 brands are making amazing, unique, edgy handbags at compelling price points. Phillip Lim uses bright colors, embellishment, and texture in statement making ways, Loeffler Randall has perfected the envelope clutch and use of studs, and Rag & Bone mixes edgy hardware with vivid colors for the ultimate in cool girl chic!

PB: How do you find out about new designers?

I am constantly on the pulse of what’s next. I read everything from to fashion magazines to celebrity tabloid websites to WWD to all types of fashion and celebrity blogs to see what’s being buzzed about. I use my strong industry relationships to see what designers are being talked about in the fashion world. And of course, I keep constant tabs on what designers our competitors are launching every season!

PB: What is big for spring?

“¢ Bright colors – less focus on neon than we saw in Fall, and more focus on the richness of bright colors
“¢ Zipper detailing
“¢ Graphic prints
“¢ Fringe
“¢ Perforated leather
“¢ Pleating
“¢ Oversized buckle detailing
“¢ Patent
“¢ Metallic
“¢ Color blocking
“¢ Animal prints
“¢ 2-or-even-3-in-one use!

PB: Who is your favorite bag designer right now and why?

3.1 Phillip Lim – his bags are edgy but feminine, with such a high-end, designer feel;and a little but of kitsch usually incorporated somehow!

PB: What bag are you carrying?

The new Marc by Marc Jacobs Strippy Zippy Nati bag – it adds an edge to every outfit and is perfect for day to night!

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!

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Jamie

    Very cool interview!!! I love Marc by Marc bags too, and Rag & Bone. You should cover that over on PB Savvy!

  • Jane

    I like the way she tied her scarf

  • She does look awesome!! Love that scarf!

  • Randall

    Hey I know that lady! I work with Jen, and yes – she’s a star. She has her fingers on the pulse and definitely sets the pace!

  • Kathy Bijak

    Can you help? My niece got, as a gift, a purse her mom bought in Italy. It is a Nati and we have decided this is THEE perfect purse: size, strap, side pocket, get opening zipper, etc. Unfortunately all the straps are coming undone from their brackets and we can not figure out how to fix this. This purse is very new–a couple of months old. I can not find a Nati web site and would really love to get this purse fixed. We are so disappointed. Perhaps my sister-in-law got ripped off or maybe it is just a design flaw but regardless we would love to fix the purse.