Founders of luxury accessory brand, OLEADA, Tracy and Tiffany chat with LA Fashion Magazine on all things working-women, sustainability, the micro-bag trend and becoming an entrepreneur after years of working in finance. From NYC to Hong Kong – the founders have traveled the world – for work – and finally came up with a solution to the modern, working woman on the go. A fabulous line of luxury leather bags, most of which fit a laptop – while some, a lipstick! From developing a cutting-edge buy back program to the perfect handbag whether day or night, look no further than OLEADA’s line of vibrant colored leather bags.
LAFM: What inspired you to create OLEADA?
Tracy & Tiffany: Oleada fufills the basic need of a modern, professional woman. Both my Co-founder, Tracy and I worked in professional services for years. I studied engineering and worked in technology consulting and private equity investment, while Tracy worked in private banking at multiple Bulge Bracket firms. We traveled frequently to meet clients and partners. Once, I was about to take a New York City to Hong Kong flight, which is 15 hours long. After passing security, I tried to repack my laptop and all my things back into a tote bag. Right at the moment, I was about to carry my heavy tote, my strap broke. All my stuff went everywhere. Then I started to think – we have invented millions of cutting-edge technology to better our lives, why is the basic need of a professional woman still be ignored? I am not the only girl that needs to carry my laptop here and there. While women are thriving in more leadership roles in professional settings, we somehow, still cannot find a perfect work bag that should be aesthetically and functionally excellent. That’s why we created OLEADA – light-weight, lasting, luxurious. Fits your laptop and fits your style.
LAFM: Did the Work from Home movement inspire your brand?
Tracy & Tiffany: Now a lot of companies allow employees to work 3 days home and 2 days in the office. Many are also working remote while traveling. We definitely see a need that people need to carry their work essential – the laptop everywhere.
LAFM: What do you think of the micro-bag trend?
Tracy & Tiffany: I love it. When we’re in the design room, the first thing that we will do is to deeply analyze the scenario of a modern woman using handbags. For a night out scenario, I might just need to carry a cell phone and my lipstick – and I am ready to go. Micro bags totally serve the purpose, these days all we really need is our cell phone.
LAFM: We love that you have bags that fit a laptop and other office essentials, how do you describe the Oleada customer?
Tracy & Tiffany: Our customer is mostly living in big cities around the world, like New York, Los Angeles, London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore. Mostly of them work in consulting, banking, technology and marketing with an age range around 26-35.
LAFM: Can you tell us more about your commitment to sustainability?
Tracy & Tiffany: Fashion has caused too much waste to the world, that’s why we are an advocate of slow fashion. Our philosophy is Reduce, Renovate and Recycle.
Reduce – The first step is to create less waste and produce less product from now.
We reduce using high environmental impact chemical materials and advance the construction in our handbag to make it more ecological and longer the bag’s lifecycle.
Renovate – The second step is to renovate the “waste” we already made. We are working with our supplychains with a lot of material science experiments. We came out with our first conscious collection Reverie Hobo, made with recycled leather. This year, we worked with B-corp to recycle discarded fishing nets and plastic bottles in the ocean and turn those waste magically into our new style. This collection will launch this summer!
Recycle – The last step is to cycle everything we have put into the market. That’s why we have a recycling program to encourage clients to send their unwanted OLEADA bags back to us.
LAFM: The 3 R’s we love that! Tell us more about your buy back program!
Tracy & Tiffany: A used bag might have no value to the client, but it could tell us many stories. Once we receive the used bag, our technician will analyze the construction. All those “aging marks” could give us tremendous insights into which part we should improve, such that we could keep iterating our product to make it last even longer. Then, we would disassemble all components, e.g. fillers, leather and hardwares, and send them into the proper recycling process. Some parts of the leather can even be recycled to make recycled leather. As a client, they receive shopping credits to purchase another OLEADA design, as a reward for being part of doing good to our earth with OLEADA.
LAFM: What trends do you see for handbags and accessories in 2022?
Tracy & Tiffany: I still think functionality is key. We are all multi-faceted women, and our bags should be aligned with our multi-roles lifestyles.