Designer Interview with Riley Versa
Collection Name: Riley Versa
Upcoming Showcase: NYFW Nolcha Show
How different is conception preparation in relation to F/W vs S/S collection?
We run a bit of a different operation compared to most brands. We release a few limited edition seasonal covers but, for the most part, when we think of a new design, we create and release it.
What were your inspirations for the designs you are creating for the Nolcha Shows Fashion Media Lounge?
I focused on clean, minimal lines for the bag itself and then went wild with the interchangeable covers.
How do you balance creativity with commerce?
Honestly, it’s really difficult. There will always be people whispering in your ear telling you what will sell the best and make the most money, but what I’ve learned is that they aren’t always right. Sometimes if you go with what you love, the results can be pleasantly surprising. But it is always a struggle to balance the two.
Rules are meant to be broken, which are your favorite fashion rules to break?
Not wearing white before Memorial Day! I don’t subscribe to that one. I love Winter White.
What is your greatest accomplishment as a designer?
Creating a product that people enjoy to wear. The best part of my job is hearing from Riley Versa owners that they love wearing the bag.
What skills according to you are necessary for a successful designer?
Adaptability and willingness to change your design. You put your heart and soul into designing something, so naturally it’s hard to accept criticism. But it’s such an important skill. A design can always be improved and it’s important to be open to that process.
So if you had the choice of all designers in the world to work with, who would that person be?
What markets and demographic do you cater to?
I think part of the beauty of the brand is that it appeals to everyone. It’s for the woman who travels and can’t fit multiple bags in her suitcase but can fit multiple covers; it’s for the woman who wants to try the latest trend but doesn’t want to invest in a whole new bag; and for the woman who hates moving the contents of her bag when switching purses (with Riley Versa bag you just switch the cover).