It seems almost too good to be true. A handbag that is good for you. This is what yoga enthusiast and health nut, Lauren Bailey set out to provide for any woman who has ever needed just one more reason to buy that “it” bag. In her desire to translate her love for healthy living to her even healthier obsession with handbags, Lauren has created a line of bags that heal as you use them.
Style is never lost, in the pursuit of wellness.
Bailey handbags have been spotted on a handful of celebrity shoulders such as Ryan Phillipe (limited men’s edition) and Melissa Egan (the Miles Hobo). Made from Italian lambskin, her bags exude a subtle confidence. As Lauren likes to say, and did say the night I met her for cocktails and bag-chat, “Style is never lost, in the pursuit of wellness.”As she said this, smiling, she looked at me dead in the eye and I knew she meant it. Lauren ordered water and glanced over the cocktail menu with a non-committal flair. “I want to try something different, but I don’t really need a drink.” she says, while the bartender brings me my regular.
Lauren is holding on her lap, a Kris clutch, the baby of her collection. The clutches are petite and strong, much like ourhealth guru/designerherself, whose years of yoga have reinforced her posture so that you’d never know that this compelling and graceful presence is only 5’3″. Until that is, you notice her as-high-as-you-can-get-them heels. Her easy serene composure contrasts
with her meticulously coordinated ensemble. Lauren chose a bright blue retro-style halter to work around and coordinated a pleated tan bell shaped skirt in a breezy lightweight cotton and, a pair of sea blue peep toes with 4 inch wedges in light wood (designed by GiGi Favela, a close friend).
LB: I love heels when I go out. I’ve been told I carry myself well in them, and I think it’s because I always feel like I’m a part of what I’m wearing.
PD: Was this your inspiration for your handbags?
LB:Yeah. When I started, just designing handbags didn’t feel like it encompassed everything I wanted in my company. As soon as the magnets, the wellness component, were added the brand felt more cohesive to me.
LB: I’ve always been involved in yoga and read a lot about wellness and different ways to feel better; and magnets have always played a big role in that for me. It just seemed like a natural fit for handbags which already have for utility.
The Science behind the Salubrious The magnets provide overall ionic symmetry and targeted energy balance. Lauren says, “People should have a combination of soothing and energizing ions running through us at all times.Thiscreates that grounded, well-rested feeling we’re always trying to achieve in exercise and meditation.” The magnets stabilize those soothing/energizing currents, promoting them where needed and liberating the ones in excess. A quick Google search reveals that the actual holistic efficacy of magnets on circulation, pain relief, and other ailments is widely debated. And popular opinion oscillates between the proverbial poles. However, every year more studies appear linking magnetic energy and it’s documented effects on serious ailments such as depression ( August 2005 issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter ) and bone healing (NCCAMNIH website).
Lauren is not alone in her thinking that providing extra perks to handbags makes sense. In almost every other industry, products that offer more have become the current trend. In a day where phones also serve as a major source of music and visual media connectivity, and cosmetics compete to offer three or four benefits to the multi-tasking consumer, it was predestined that fashion designers would also start asking ” what else can my products do?” For Lauren, it wasn’t just a competitive marketing tactic, but a means to
“fuse [her] love of fashion with [her] love of feeling great through different wellness techniques.” Has she achieved this? If she can be seen as a product of her own pedagogy, then from appearances, she has.
PD: What’s new for Fall?
LB: We’re adding some pouches, and snakeskin designs in warm colors.
PD: Ohhh, snakeskins. Do they have any healing powers too?
LB: Well, you could say that they make you feel good, because they make you look good.
PD: And it’s all about looking good, right?
LB: Feeling good.
PD: Oh right, right. Feeling good.
As I waived good bye to Lauren and her magnetic talismans, I watched her as she walked steadily in her 4 inch wedges to her car, happy, sober and driving home. I knew then that the difference between just looking good and actually feeling good had something to do with the fact that while we both left “in good spirits,” hers had come from within her.