Laura Brown is the editor-in-chief of In Style US and the former executive director of Harper's Bazaar US. Here, she talks about her collaboration with bespoke accessories brand Mon Purse.
How did the Mon Purse collaboration first come about and why were you drawn to this accessories brand in particular?
Lana and I have a friend in common, Zara Curtis. When I was home last April, she said we had to meet. So, we did. That was that! I didn’t consider other brands – this collaboration came about the old-fashioned way.
The fashion industry has undergone some fairly major changes recently, why do you feel personal customisation is emerging in the current fashion landscape?
I think women want to feel like something is truly their own, that they haven’t fallen slavishly for something that looks like everyone else. Also, now we are exposed to more fashion than ever on social media, I think we trust our own taste more. We just know…more. I think a brand underestimates its customer at its peril.
What are some of your main handbag and accessory trend predictions for 2017?
It doesn’t feel like anyone in fashion carries an It Bag anymore. What feels right is a well-made, well-priced, groovy bag. I’d say this even before we made them, but doubly now.
What did you enjoy most about the designing experience?
Learning to trust my instincts – this whole process was so new for me, but so gratifying when things worked out even better than I wanted. I also had such a laugh making little feedback videos of me giving feedback on the bags.
What is most exciting about Australian fashion and accessories brands for you right now?
Momentum! Especially what Lana is doing with Mon Purse. She is absolutely fearless – she has a great idea and is taking it global.
Did your inspiration for the LB x MP designs stem from real life experiences?
Yes, I really need to be able to throw a bag over my shoulder, or for it to be hands free in some way. I’m always running around NYC, jumping in and out of cars, carrying multiple things, so I needed bags to make things as easy as possible. Then the idea came about of the three different sizes – basically, everything a girl needs to get her through her day.
How would you describe the aesthetic attitude of the Laura Brown x Mon Purse collection?
Simple with a twist – kind of like me, really! The design is quite minimal, the leather is gorgeous, and we’ve supplemented the great, classic colours with some kicky leopard print. Because, as my friend Jenna Lyons says, “leopard is a neutral.”
Can you tell us a bit about your role in the design process?
Pretty hands on, actually. It was the first time I’d done anything like that, but the Mon Purse designer, Kate Generalao, used to design for Chloe and has great taste herself. It was a matter of trusting my instincts and really trying out the samples. Also, making videos with my feedback that were pinged between NY, Paris and Sydney. Honestly, my favourite part was how well they turned out! The day we shot the campaign with Pierre Toussaint, Michelle Jank, Megha Patel and the gorgeous Astrid Holler, it just came together beautifully. Casual, but super refined. I couldn’t have hoped for better.
How would you describe your personal style and in what ways have you incorporated this into the LB x MP collection?
My personal style is pretty easy-going. I’d wear jeans and a sweatshirt every day, if I could. Mostly jeans, shirt, tee-shirt, some sort of platform heel. On grown-up days, I wear trousers with that same sort of combo. On super grown-up days, I go the full Valentino dress. Each of the bags could be worn with anything I pop on daily. Although I would likely reserve
The Minx for the Valentino.
Who would you say is the 'Laura Brown' girl?
A girl who works hard, but lives easily.
Can you tell us which is your favourite piece from the collection and why?
Ooh, so many! I keep picking them up and am like, “Ooh!” But at a push, I’d say the Girl on the Go bucket bag in leopard print. It was my first idea. And you always love your first.