It started with a pair of companions enthusiastic about fashion, which struck up a friendship and then a business. The result was Cassidy Randall, a collection of high-quality leather and suede handbags that are perfect for the busy fashionista with a hectic schedule. The bags are designed with practicality in mind: Each bag is multifunctional and adaptable depending on the situation or need, with features such as switchable straps or accessories that accompany your chic look.
Katie Cassidy had design experience under her belt before she met her future partner Nola Randall, having worked for companies such as Victoria’s Secret and Elie Tahari. All the while, however, she had been dreaming of her own line. Enter Randall, an interior designer with a knack for creating beautiful things. In 2008, their mutual love of fashion and design –and innate talent – blossomed into a line of rocker chic handbags that are both edgy and luxurious.
“My whole life I wanted to be a fashion designer,” Cassidy said. “So working for the bigger companies, working with the sellers, just really seeing how that stuff was made, I decided I could actually start making my own stuff. So I started talking to Nola. She liked the idea as well and was into design and we finally just started making bags together.”
Each bag is carefully, painstakingly made, with both friends overseeing the process from start to finish.
“It’s a lot of legwork,” Randall said. “We both go and pick up the hardware, pick up the fabrics, we do the patterns, we make the patterns from scratch, we go to the manufacturers, we talk to them and then go back to them and make sure everything’s exactly as we want it and then we go from there.”
As busy women themselves, they know all about what kind of bag a professional woman with a frantic schedule needs. Priced from $160 to $395, the bags marry function with fashion, and are big enough to hold everything from your makeup to your sunglasses and keys to items needed for an impromptu day at the beach, as well as all of your other essentials.
“After work, you want to go out, you want to have a drink after a busy day,” Cassidy said. “You can fold your purse up and just go. It’s a bag you can carry the whole day. You don’t have to be switching purses. Instead of switching stuff in and out, you can keep just the one bag.”
The two created their line to be timeless and classic.
“We’ve had the same bags for two years, and they’re still in style,” Randall said. “And obviously we’re making new ones. But they go with everything.”
One of the features that makes their collection unique and authentic is that all their bags are made locally in New York. Although this endeavor has been more difficult than expected, and they could make bags in China for a fraction of the cost, the designers say they are sticking with it.
“Nothing is made anymore in the United States it seems,” Randall said. “We want the product here so we can keep an eye on it as it is being made rather than taking our luck with China and if it comes back not exactly how we want it and poor quality. We want to keep jobs for people here too, with the way the economy is going.”
The pair is constantly creating new looks, with 20 new purses in the pipeline, including a smaller clutch and some more affordably priced canvas bags with prints expressly handcreated by the two.
For more information on Cassidy Randall or see their selections, visit www.CassidyRandall.com.