izzi bag is online boutique which specialises in producing handmade handbags of the finest quality. The collection was created in Augst 2009 by Anne Agoren who I believe is a designer to watch next year, her creations come from the heart as she shows a great passion in what she does.
I have gotten to know Anne through twitter and her tweets always amuse me, she has also shown me great support and provided some fantastic insights whilst the blog was first starting out. I was delighted to have a chat with her.
Hey Anne firstly, why did you get into handbag design?
Oh that’s an easy question I just love handbags and I know that because every single cupboard and draw in my house is full of them. I never give them or throw them away and I keep them all in their soft protection bags. I have for as long as I can remember admired handbags regardless of cost or brand. You will often see me on the tube or in the park drawing them from everyday inspirations.
How would you describe your range? And what do you think makes your designs unique from others on the market?
izzi bag is I guess a maverick brand, I am laughing whilst writing that, I have never copied any design from another brand and I think being slightly edgy and quirky is what makes us unique. Our handbags are all hand woven from the finest leathers and accessories on the market and so I am proud to say that any owner of an Izzi Bag will always have an individual bag. Our bold chequered weave is our brand identity and we have some real stunners coming up for the World Cup in 2010.
Admittedly my readers may not all be able to afford your bags, why should they treat themselves to an izzi bag?
I like to think our handbags are affordable luxury and that they are handbags to be aspired to. I really believe that if you want something you can have it and I know that when I want something which is out of my price range I save for it. The best feeling in the world is buying something that you have to wait for, something that you cannot instantly go out and grab, it makes it all the more worthwhile and those are the things I cherish even more.
what is a typical day at the office for you?
Crikey, that is a hard question, no two days ever seem to be the same! But a typical day starts at around 6am, I make my hubby his breakfast as I really like to have this time with him. I go on Twitter for an hour or so, then get myself organized to work from my office at home or go to the studio. I normally spend a couple of hours on admin. I spend a lot of time at my design desk, drawing and researching new accessories and leathers for the following seasons. I never find time for lunch unless I am meeting someone in London, around 2PM you can often find me going through everyone’s draws looking for chocolate or munching on jelly beans of which I have a half empty jar on my desk. I’m never quite sure who tops it up, but they are always there! My afternoons are normally taken up with meetings either with my staff discussing our strategy for the coming days or with retailers who we are targeting to stock izzi bag. I always try to be home by 7pm for my family arriving home, we all cook so it is normally a family thing to make dinner and pour out the wine. At least once a week we meet up, normally in Covent Garden for supper. At least two nights a week I am at a party or launch as net working is really important in the world of fashion, but if I had the choice I would rather be at home. I normally go to bed around 11.30.
I hear next year that you’ll be commuting between England and America, what are your plans for breaking into the American market?
Our plans for breaking into the US market are still to be confirmed, but I have a lot of close relationships in the US now, through attending NYCFW [New York Fashion Week], I was there for 3 weeks in total and I think I attended more than two social events every day. By the time I came back to London I had a little black book full of contacts and slept for a week!
I hasten to add that the power of Twitter and blogs has brought a lot of attention to izzi bag as well for which I am forever surprised and grateful. I make it my business to connect with serious like minded people. It is really important in fashion to keep your finger on the pulse and to network whenever and wherever possible. If I am invited to an event I try my hardest to always go, because invitations do not always come around again and it is amazing who you meet. I am hoping to set up a launch through the media as soon as I can in New York and we will go from there.
and finally how will you be spending christmas?
Well that’s an easy one, I am a real family person and Christmas Eve is going to be spent at a party in London and then Christmas Day is a family only day, we will drink some Champagne whilst all cooking our Turkey dinner. My family are all big cooks so we normally spend most days in the kitchen together all with our fingers in the pie! Chilling out as a family is so important and I always treasure the times we spend together as a family. This is the first Christmas we will spend in the UK for sometime as we normally have a family holiday somewhere warm but we have the tree up and all the goodies are already wrapped and hiding underneath. I am quite excited now and actually have to admit have had a shake or two of some of the parcels, but don’t tell!
The rest of the holidays will be spent visiting those we didn’t see on the 25th and of course I am sure there will be a few parties along the way.
You can visit Anne’s Site- Izzibag here