Today we’ll start with a real-life nightmare: Overseas business trip. Chaotic airport experience. Balancing between boarding pass, passport, cards, multiple currencies. Hours later, arrived in hotel room at destination. Pouring everything out of the suitcase, shoving the essentials into any bag, and running out the door. Finally, arriving at the conference venue. Met first potential client, realizing the business cards are missing!
What if I told you a story of a lady passing each checkpoint at the airport like a pro, everything meticulously organized in a gadget within her crossbody bag, no fuss no flush no rush. Upon arrival, all there was to do was swap her little gadget for another, buckle on a stylish strap and she’d be at the conference reaching in and out of her shoulder bag exchanging business cards. Never leaving a thing behind.
Just when you thought that wasn’t enough to impress, she even beats everyone to the bar on the martini, by transforming her handbag into a clutch in two seconds.
If her story sounds like a travel myth to you, you’d be as excited as I am to meet our Stellar today, Lidia, the founder of L&E.
L&E is a luxury travel accessories brand creating multi-functional bags that transform within seconds from backpack to clutch (and many other things), with add-ons that allows it to perform all the functions one would need when travelling or running around the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. These seasonless accessories are second to none in quality being handcrafted in Europe, with cruelty free materials that are durable and last the test of time.
Growing curious of this brand, we now present you with the story behind how Lidia, the founder of L&E, came about to this concept.
Lidia, tell us a bit about L&E, what is the brand about, the focus and mission, where are you based?
L&E is based in Zürich. Our mission is to provide practical handbags and accessories with timeless design and a sustainable, cruelty free alternative to what’s out there.
What inspired you to start L&E as a sustainable brand? Was being chic and multi-functional not good enough as a product for you?
The sheer reality of the art of craftsmanship dying out and being replaced by mass production and disposable fashion. I have witnessed an exorbitant amount of waste in my 15 years in the fashion industry!
I was inspired by a market research I did as a Fashion Student on Hermes an ode to centuries old knowhow and sustainability but at a more affordable price. This is why I opened my own studio (in North Macedonia) with some amazing Craftsman that sign and number every bag.
Our policy is Lifetime Guaranty – where the craftsman that made will also repair your bag – we say “If you’re happy to wear it, we’re happy to repair it” 🙂 All our suppliers are also carefully chosen for their sustainable ways and care to producing. All of them are in Europe so to cut co2 emissions and reduce carbon footprint.
What inspires you as a designer?
Everything! People, architecture, movies, art, nature but most of all practicality and modern lifestyle! Everything is designed with a need in mind, nothing is designed for the sake of being pretty (Although it is a pleasant side effect).
Having been a customer of L&E since 2016, I met Lidia in person in one of her pop-up stores when I was working in Switzerland. As one of the first sustainable brands I came across in the early days of my responsible consumption journey, I was amazed by how versatile a handbag could be and the confidence the designer had in her designs. It was thanks to designers like Lidia that later inspired me to do more about celebrating sustainable consumption with more entrepreneurs, thus Myth was born four years later.
Fast forward to today, still as a fan of L&E, I asked Lidia what her proudest moment or best accomplishment as an entrepreneur was so far.
My proudest moments are always my customers and my customer stories, like yours 🙂
Looking back at the journey so far, is there anything you would like to tell your past self that you wish you knew back then? A tip for the entrepreneur that is still thinking if they can do this!
It’s hard, it’s far harder than anything you can imagine! But like I say to my fellow entrepreneurs – if it was easy everyone would do it – and – as long as you don’t stop you haven’t failed but like one of my dear friends said when I was starting: This will be your biggest success or your biggest lesson, in any case you’re not at a lost.
What part of being in the Myth community would you look forward most to?
To be with likeminded business and individuals and find innovative ways to move this sector in the right direction.