If you get inspiration for your new season wardrobe from the street style set at fashion week then you’ll know an outfit can be made by a good designer handbag. Every season, a new it handbag appears on the scene, and I’ve got a feeling that for the autumn/winter 2020 shows, we’ll be seeing a lot of Yuzefi.
Although the London brand isn’t technically new – it was founded by Naza Yousefi in 2016 – it’s slowly taken over my Instagram feed, and I’ve spotted the classic designs more than once on the arms of editors and influencers in New York, London, Milan and Paris.
Needless to say, it’s a cult brand in the making, and I don’t use that word lightly. The handbags are both fashion forward and classic, meaning they completely transcend trends, a plus if you’re trying to practice sustainable fashion. Here, designer Naza talks me through the styles we’ll be seeing more of this February, as well as how to keep a brand successful in the current climate.
What is your design approach?
The YUZEFI design approach aims to push the boundaries of our day to day by looking at the world through a surrealist lens. We like to take a step back and look for new perspectives to our surroundings to create a sense of newness in a familiar world, in both a visual and tactile sense.
What styles should we invest in for SS20?
Mini bags have dominated the trends for the last few years but I sense a shift to slightly larger and practically proportioned silhouettes. I love the Bom for a chic and practical day to night look or the Loaf for a fashion forward statement.
Who would you love to see carry your bags?
I love seeing customers and influencers wearing the bags in their own way. While every silhouette is so distinctive, they can really lend themselves to so many different personal styles and it is always so inspiring to see the different ways they are styled.
Is it challenging to create designer handbags with an affordable price point?
Offering a sustainable luxury product at an affordable price point was of utmost importance and also the biggest challenge to date. The styles are made with the highest grade, sustainable Italian leather so every design has to be thoroughly considered to minimise waste and we work very hard to reduce the financial and environmental impact of our supply chain. All our handbags are hand made in Spain by artisans who have worked in the industry for generations and support our modernist and experimental techniques with traditional craftsmanship knowhow.
You’ve created your own label at a young age, any tips to share?
Industry experience has been invaluable in starting the brand but it is even more important to do things on your own terms. There are so many amazing brands out there so it is more important than ever to have a unique product/story/aesthetic and a strong purpose to inform every decision along the way.
It is good to be a bit naive and optimistic and focus on the necessary and the bigger picture rather than obsessing over every minute detail. There is always so much to do and if you are a perfectionist, you can never meet the brutal deadlines. Lastly, you have to be prepared to make difficult sacrifices in your personal life to take things off the ground but it will pay dividends down the line.
How much is social media a part of your story/success?
Social Media has played a crucial part in democratising the industry by creating a level playing field for both the young and the established brands to tell their stories. The birth of contemporary brands in the last decade can easily be attributed to Instagram and I don’t think many young brands including Yuzefi could grow without it. Having said that, building a community on Instagram is becoming increasingly more difficult and expensive due to sheer saturation so it is even more important than ever to tell a compelling story and offer a highly distinctive and desirable product to stand out.