What was your inspiration for this bag?
The inspiration for the Le Morne Lunch Box came to me when a good friend of mine, from my home-country of Mauritius, came to visit me for the first time in Manhattan. We were deciding what to eat for dinner when he told me he always wanted to order Chinese food so he could eat directly out of the cardboard take-out box. It was a classic image he'd had of what it was like to live in New York City; cramped up in a small apartment, sitting on the floor with nothing but good friends, light shining in through the window, and disposable utensils that came complementary with your meal. It was the same feeling I had when I moved to New York City, and away from my family. I had a ton of fear, but I was willing to put everything I had into pursuing my dreams of being a designer. This bag, and really the entire collection, is about those moments. The moments that start with wide eyes and a fluttering heart. When you can feel your dreams start to become reality. To me, that's what fashion and living in the city means you are living in the concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
What are the retail price-points of your line?
$50-$525 The Jeff Wan collection is between a designer and contemporary price-point. The large to medium-sized bags range from $295 to $525. Small leather goods including zip pouches, money pieces and key rings start at $50 and go up to $160. With an array of silhouettes, styles and sizes, all handcrafted in New York in Italian leather, our brand offers an accessible luxury lifestyle to customers of all demographics.
How has this season or collection differed from those of yours of the past?
The Fall 2018 collection was my chance to display what life was like through my eyes. The collection was offered in three deliveries: Color Block, Metallic, and Coco. Color Block is a direct tribute to my home country of Mauritius, with its beautiful colors and energy. Metallic is my idea of night-life in the big apple; edgy and sexy, yet still remains refined and composed. More minimal and timeless than the other three, Coco is classic; mixing together the western and eastern landscapes from my birth and chosen homes. Though they each have their own personal styles, they all share my attention to premium design detail and animated color and material story.
What other handbag designers have inspired you? Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration?
Though I follow many of the major fashion houses, I get a lot of my inspiration from my peers: the influencers, photographers, models and freelancers that I work with. They have been a major support system to my brand, and provide real-world application when I am planning new designs and campaigns for the next season.
What makes your line innovative and worth of the Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design?
Every piece from the collection is Made in New York City. The Le Morne Lunch Box comes from my background as a designer, entrepreneur, and you won't believe it, but a consumer of fashion! Every decision I make goes through layers of consideration in design, functionality, end-use, and quality. The collection is made for the maturing millennial who is not only conscious of trends, but is budget-conscious as well. They are looking for something that can be worn with multiple outfits in their wardrobe. As a designer and business-owner in 2019, I feel it is my duty to produce a product that a customer will not only be proud to wear, but will offer them a New York City brand experience that will satisfy for years to come.
Jeff Wan, Le Morne Lunch Box, Top-Handle/Crossbody, Smooth Calf Leather, $295