Story by Taylor-Ann Hasselhoff
Bellus Magazine (BM): What inspired the Lauren and Luca line?
Lauren&Luca was inspired with the simple desire to fulfill my own needs as a young entrepreneur living in Los Angeles. I was highly discouraged by the lack of selections available for high quality, everyday backpacks that young entrepreneurs such as myself need, even with some of the most famous luxury designers in the world. I decided to create something luxurious & of much higher quality for less than I would pay retail at a big name store. Having no background in fashion & never having created a bag, I had a lot of learning to do. Yet, the attention I attracted after creating my first dark brown lambskin & python backpack was unbelievable. After posting it on my social media, I’ve never had so many people walk up to me and say, “Where did you get that backpack, it’s amazing! How much did you get it for?” This specifically had a profound impact on me & I decided to pursue this passion as a company. Utilizing my background & knowledge in commercial video projection, I curated the content I created to appeal to the masses.
BM: How can you best describe your brand?
Lauren&Luca is an all-American luxury brand that showcases the craftsmanship & quality of American-made goods. We bring in first-class materials from all around the world & assemble them in unique ways right here in America which, in turn, has created more employment opportunities for Americans, all the while expressing what it means to be American made.
BM: What makes your brand unique?
What sets Lauren&Luca apart from just about any other brand is the fact that we are the only luxury brand that allows our customers to create & customize their very own Lauren&Luca backpacks & duffle bags. One of the most exciting aspects of our product is the focus on its interior. Most companies cut corners & use cheap materials on the inside, like nylon or fabric. We did the exact opposite & made the inside of our products the most opulent & unique parts. All of our bags, by standard, are fully lined with ultra soft suede & the highest quality hardware. At Lauren&Luca, we understand that the personality of the product on the inside is just as, if not more important, than what’s on the outside.
BM: If you could collab with any other designer who would it be and why?
It’s hard to choose just one, however, I can pick three. Rick Owens, for his minimalistic style & leather works. Jeremy Scott’s pop culture modernization & color. Last, but not least, Pharrel Williams for his entrepreneurial reach in all fields of creativity. I can relate to the latter very much so in my own life.
BM: What’s your best advice on how to start a brand and keep it relevant to its consumers?
Know what you are good at & tell your friends and colleagues what you’re bad at so they can help. Look for clues that point to what people want in this world. If you want to be relevant to your consumers, you need to be two steps ahead of them at all times, in all fields of knowledge & design – preempt their needs & desires. Meaning, that although one must always focus on one’s current projects, one must not overlook potential opportunities to diversify in all fields. Most importantly, master your craft & challenge yourself in that craft. You succeed in life by working really hard, & you have to work even harder to retain that success.
BM: Where can Lauren and Luca be purchased and what can we expect from you in the future?
The future is big for us! We are currently raising our second round of investment, hoping to launch our product in over 300 stores worldwide. We are looking to establish three major pop-up shops in two major cities across the US, & one internationally. We have a ton of new products & collaborations in the works, as well as a “#CaliforniaCollection” in development. You can expect to see our first ever Apple Watch Lauren&Luca Edition, that comes with luxury watch straps, releasing soon on our website. We are collaborating with select artists that have hand painted their beautiful work onto our backpacks, creating wearable art. This summer, we will be hosting a gallery event for these works of art at the famous Lab Art in Los Angeles. You can expect to see a shoe collaboration in the near future, although I can’t say with who. The rest will have to be a surprise otherwise that no fun!
Currently we are selling in a small selection of boutique stores in Los Angeles:
More Online Retailers (coming soon)
Here at Bellus Magazine we find the beauty in all types of art forms, what defines beauty to you?
Beauty to me is combination of qualities, shapes, colors, or forms, that pleases the aesthetic senses. The way people can put those all together in unlimited possibilities is beautiful.