I have been a vegetarian on and off for years. I listen to my what body needs and what I crave to eat. When it comes to fashion though, I do make an extra effort to buy vegan when it is available.
For years, there was a very limited selection of vegan handbags. Mostly made of cloth or plastic, the bags were vegan and probably more sustainable, but not very appealing. I would slowly walk out of a store, disappointed that there wasn't a bigger selection of vegan purses available.
I have always felt that it is possible to have the world of luxury and sustainable fashion come together. If these two powerful combinations could meet, I am sure more people would be open to making the change to environmentally friendly trends.
Luckily, my dreams are coming true. More and more there are greater options for vegan fashion. Recently, I spoke with Jill Fraser, Founder and CEO of Jill Milan, a luxury vegan handbag company based in California.
Celebrities like Anne Hathaway, Amy Poehler, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Lawrence, Eva Longoria, Rashida Jones and Carrie Underwood are just some of the stars seen carrying Jill Milan vegan handbags.
Jill Fraser shared some of the hottest summer trends for vegan handbags.
Top Colors For Summer Handbags
Pastels are in right now, especially in shades of pink, blue, beige, yellow and mint greens. Metallics are also a huge trend, which will continue into the fall months. Silver and gold metallic, are on trend, as well as some blue metallics.
Top Style Trends For Summer Handbags
Buckets! Bucket bags are everywhere. Buckets in silver and gold metallics are hot and these colors will still be on trend for fall. When buying a bucket, though, you should look for one with lots of interior pockets for organizing keys, credit cards and other items. Otherwise the bag could get quite messy.
Carryalls work totes. Oversized bags that can be used for work. These are a bit dressier than a tote but they are large enough to carry everything from an iPad to a cosmetics bag.
Belt bags. Smaller bags that can be attached to a belt.
Backpacks. Backpacks have been around for a long time but now they are much more grown up and fashionable.
Top handles. Bags that have a smaller top handle attached. These bags tend to be a bit more lady-like.
Structured purses. These are often influenced by the 1950's and range in size from small to quite large. These bags are very beautiful and perfect to carry with a dress for both work and formal events.
Oversized clutches, especially in metallics and florals. Think larger clutches in floral or metallic colors. Personally, I like a metallic clutch in silver or gold because it can transition easily into the cooler months.
When I asked Jill about the common concern that vegan handbags are not as durable as leather handbags, she shared with me her thoughts, "Yes, some people do feel this. In earlier days, non-leather bags were often offered at much lower price points than leather bags."
Jill continues, "But I've also seen Italian vegan materials cost as much as $200 a yard -- this is the manufacturer's cost for the fabrics only! Many of these fabrics are actually made for the interiors of luxury cars, so they are highly resistant to stains and are also extremely tough and durable."
Stitching and hardware are also essential to a bag's longevity. Top quality hardware doesn't scratch and good stitching doesn't break easily.
In Jill Milan's case, they work with family-owned Italian ateliers who literally make the top luxury bags in Europe. They have a heritage of making bags that last for many years.
I am so happy that there continues to be more options for both luxury and vegan fashion. I will have a pep in my step the next time I am shopping at the top tier stores.
Stay tuned to my blog and share your comments below. Your tips and suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to find pretty, stylish and comfortable fashion.