Light Built Inside Every Bag – Q&A with Glass Handbags CEO, Tamara Leuty

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Glass Handbag, London 2015 | Bagstowear - Light from Inside Every Bag

WHEN FASHION IS PAIRED UP WITH TECHNOLOGY..

In today’s day and age when ‘big data’ has penetrated almost all aspects of our lives keeping us glued up to multi-screen devices & tons of multi-media content, time has become a luxury more than it perhaps has ever, ever been so far.

We’re changing our habits, we’re more savvier than previous generations and so to keep up with changes around us we’re starting to make use of some handy accessory assistants such as watches becoming phones and ‘health advisors’, glasses connecting us to the internet etc. For some owning these pieces of wearable tech may come as a matter of style polishing and self-expression while for others it becomes almost a must-have to try and ‘save’ its Majesty, the Time.

The handbag I’m about to introduce you to could easily be listed as one such ‘modern age’ assistant.

It has been designed to solve a need: so common and frequent that it’s surprisingly has never been properly looked at before.

The brand born in Las Vegas only a few years back, under the label Glass Handbag helps you find items you’d usually spend quite some time searching for, such as keys, USB sticks, travel cards etc.

You might be wondering now what’s so special about this bag? Well, aside from its luxurious looks it’s the light coming from the inside being enabled only when the bag is opened. Sounds pretty unusual, right? Yet, prior to actually seeing it we’ve assumed: it should be quite comforting! Let’s see below our findings..

In fact, one lucky reader will have a chance to see this in action as the CEO of Glass Handbag, Tamara Leuty has kindly agreed to host with us a GIVEAWAY!

All you’ll have to do is answer a question at the bottom of this interview post for a chance to win a stunning luxury leather satchel with patent interior lighting worth $225!

In the meantime let’s hear from Tamara the story behind her invention and the actual set up of her handbag company:

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Glass Handbag, London 2015 | Bagstowear – Light from Inside Every Bag

 

Q1, BTW:  Tamara, you’ve been a fashion photographer for slightly over a decade. How have you come up with the interior lighting idea within a handbag? What has inspired or determined you to give it a go?  

Tamara Leuty, CEO Glass Handbag:

Since I was 15 and started carrying a handbag, I have always been frustrated with finding anything I needed quickly in my handbag because most of my purses had the black lining which creates an abyss.  I have always thought someone needed to invent a light in a handbag. One day in 2010 I started to do a search and find what had been done before.  I found nothing that made any since that was in the mainstream of handbags.  Then I decided to take on the task.

Q2, BTW: What were the main challenges when engineering the lighting functionality?  You’ve once said that some have been trying to create this element since the 1950’s..

Tamara:

When contemplating the ideal lighting system, I knew the light should not be in the way of the usage and functionality of a handbag.  The light also had to be totally durable, considering women are usually tough on their handbags.  The light had to be moisture resistant and non-heat producing on top of that.  In the 1950’s they invented a light bulb that was huge and not at all functional for handbag use, plus very dangerous.  I also thought that the light is secondary because the handbag has to be attractive.  So when you first see the bag, you would never guess there was a light built inside.

ENGINEERING LIGHT WITHIN ..A BAG! NO MORE ENDLESS SEARCHES FOR KEYS & LIPSTICK!

 Q3, BTW: I’ve noticed on your website there’s a variety of product lines: different colors, shapes and fabrics. Since all your bags have the interior lighting incorporated, do you find clutches are benefiting from it too, given the small size and assuming it’s easier to find things when the bag is tiny? Or the interior lighting designed for smaller bags is an element of décor rather than functionality?

Tamara:

The light panel system is a fun conversation piece, being that the light is a fun surprise when you open it. Clutches and small bags are used more and more and at evening time when using light can be very helpful.

BTW: Indeed! we’ve actually found one of your previous spots featuring one such case, when light from within a bag can be hugely helpful..Jokes aside though, it looks like it can be a time saver:

and a fashion statement nonetheless. Here’s a snapshot from a movie featuring Sophie Vergara wearing one of your Glass Handbags:

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Sophia Vergara wearing a Glass Handbag, LA

 

Q4. The interior lighting system is relatively new to fashion retail yet there have been only a few attempts to assemble interior lighting within a purse (ie.Ralph Lauren’s Ricky bag , shows a LED battery usage. How would you classify your invention: what’s setting it apart?

Tamara:

Current bags that have been produced with LED lighting system’s, have cell phone rechargeable power banks permanently attached to the handbag.  The problem with that is, LED lights are not uniform lighting so the LED light shines brighter in one spot only.  My light panel system is uniform and even so you see everything within the bag.  Once the rechargeable power bank that powers the lighting and your phone dies, then you end up caring around a heavy, dead power bank in your bag that you cannot take out.  Rechargeable power banks die after about a year from over-charging them.

I don’t think people should have to think too hard about charging their bag and how long they should charge them either.  Rechargeable Power banks can only take a charge about 4 to 5 times and after that you need to charge your power bank using a secondary electrical outlet.  With my system the light takes the common AAA batteries. My light panel system has 25,000 hours of life and the AAA batteries last 2 months, which doesn’t require you to charge your bag every night. In fact – it’s just that effortless! No need to recharge it at all, just change the battery once in a while (you can buy AAA batteries anywhere in the world!). My light panel system is permanently sewn into the side wall of the bag, however you can unplug the battery pack and exchange it if needed.  Finally – not the least important: the light panel system is weightless unlike the rechargeable power banks in other handbags.

WEARABLE TECH doesn’t have to be unattractive..

Q5 BTW. While reading your product reviews I’ve come across the following: ‘These bags had me on aesthetics alone’ or ‘the interior light is just icing on the cake’. I’ve selected these references on purpose since in one of your interviews to a NY-based fashion magazine you’ve mentioned that ‘Fashion & Technology don’t have to be unattractive, they can be stylish too’.

Now my question is: when designing your handbags what comes first: style or functionality? What do you find appeals to your clients more: the bag design/appearance or the unusual mysterious helper living inside the bag?

 For eg. To me the below model (Rave metal clutch) strikes through its design:

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Rave Metal Clutch, Glass Handbag

 

While the below one encompasses almost a heritage of the past through its classical satchel look:

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Tear Drop Satchel, Glass Handbag

 

Tamara:

For me it is all about looks and style, I am a very visual person and I think bags are the becoming the most important fashion piece in any women’s closet.   The light panel system is truly a luxury function that you just really appreciate.

BTW. After checking the appearance of your Emerald Green shoulder bag we’ve inspired ourselves to a dedicated photo session ‘taking the bag out for a walk’ throughout the streets of London, have a look below (many thanks for taking part in a shoot to our model – Chiara Giovane!):

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Glass Handbag, Emerald Green Leather Shoulder Bag, London 2015

 

 

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Emerald Green Leather Shoulder Bag | Glass Handbag | Bagstowear Shot in London

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Emerald Green Shoulder Bag, Glass Handbag, London

 

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Emerald Green Shoulder Bag, Glass Handbag, London

 

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Emerald Green Shoulder Bag, Glass Handbag, London

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Emerald Green Shoulder Bag, Glass Handbag, London 2015

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Emerald Green Leather Shoulder Bag | Glass Handbag | Bagstowear Shot in London

 

 

As you might notice from the above, we’ve seen the beauty of this emerald green tote in daylight, within a casual chic style. What appealed to us most were the gradient leather look revealing its laser cutting edges, as if speaking of precision/determination of its fast-paced wearer.

As our interview project aims to uncover the unusual, trendy and somewhat rare handbag brands (most of which won’t be an easy find on the high street!), I’m wondering how would you describe your clients yourself? Who are these bags being made for?

Tamara:

These bags are made for women and men that appreciate high fashion and have their own style, trend setters.  I design bags that are not cookie cutter bag shapes.  My customer wants a bag that is not common and that makes a fashion statement.

Tamara, thank you for your time, it’s been a pleasure having you take part in our interview project.

Guys, now that you’ve followed Tamara’s story, it’s time to answer the question below for a chance to win this stunning Satchel worth $225:

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Red Tear Drop Satchel, Glass Handbag

 

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Red Tear Drop Satchel

 

Question: How Many Hours of Life has a Glass Handbag?

A. 120

B. 10,000

C. 25,000

The winner will be selected randomly via random.org and announced on Saturday 24th October, 4pm on our Facebook page.

Best of luck!

 

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