Celebrity stylist Robert Verdi has launched a fabulous line of handbags, Great Bag Co., that are sleek, chic, and super affordable! They can be seen on the arms of some of the hottest stars, from Eva Longoria, to Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Cynthia Bailey, and J. Alexander. I was lucky enough to score an invite to the Maplewood native’s exclusive trunk show at Madonna & Co., a gorgeous boutique and beauty bar in NYC. I had the pleasure of chatting with the fearless entrepreneur about what makes his collection so unique, and how the line so quickly garnered the coveted title as the new ‘It’ bag.
Great Bag Co.’s signature bag is the Model M, a versatile and stylish molded rubber tote, that doesn’t slouch, and is roomy enough for us ladies who have a tendency to overpack. It is made of a proprietary polymer called Fashion Flex, which gives it a sculptural silhouette so that never slouches. It is waterproof, resilient, lightweight, and comes in a wide array of vivd colors. Robert tells me this was the one handbag that was missing in the market. Robert — who styles long-time friend Eva, Hugh Jackman, and Kristin Wiig — wanted to create a bag that is all-purpose, for all types of women, that really services their functions, but also is stylish and affordable.
He says, “I was very aware that there’s a hole in the handbag market. There was a lot of things missing. Having worked with a lot of celebrities. I have found that celebrities are no different from ‘real women’ in that every woman suffers from the same issues, and that there’s always this bag they are looking for to do different things.”
And diverse this tote bag most certainly is. Robert tells me this bag can fit the needs of a wide variety of ladies. “It’s for the girl who is working and commuting, and she wants it for her bottle of water in the morning and her favorite magazine, and her heels so she can switch. It’s for any yoga or fitness girl, for her clothes to change into after a workout. It’s for a student and the stuff they’re dragging around on campus.”
Another unique feature about his bags, is how they are produced. Robert tells me being environmentally conscious was extremely important to him. “This product is made in North America, and goes from palette to product, so there’s a reduction in carbon footprints. Traditional bags use an enormous amount of energy. This does not. It’s a molded bag, so there’s no assembly. It’s all a single body, which is why this a very unique product.”
Robert also adds that this production process is the way of the future. “This bag is really the way things are moving. The accessories industry is moving toward future concepts, and this is the first one.”
The best part about Robert’s line is the price point. At only $120, you won’t be breaking that bank purchasing one of these beautiful bags. Affordability was very important to the long-time TV personality. He tells me, “I thought there has to be a way to make a really cool bag, that’s affordable, and make the ‘It’ bag an affordable bag. Instead of the ‘It’ bag being a $3,000 bag, the ‘It’ bag is now a $120 dollar bag.”
Robert realized he created something very special when the late, great Bill Cunningham wrote about the line. “What’s great is of course Bill Cunningham noted it, and wrote about it a year ago in August. He called it the ‘It’ bag. That’s when we were really recognized as doing something important in fashion, making a bag that’s got unique design properties. I designed this bag to answer the call of women, to have a bag that is both stylish and functional.”
Robert, bravo! You did just that. You can shop the collection online, and in stores at Macy’s.