“Women in general are my greatest inspiration, I study them like an anthropologist.”
Tell us about your collection.
The Jacki Easlick Collection is an assortment of high end leather lifestyle handbags that are designed in New York and manufactured in Manhattan. I have chosen to work with a high quality leather manufacturer in New York City who shares my passion for craftsmanship, quality and tradition. They are one of the last remaining leather handbag factories in New York City.
Jacki Easlick does not use mass production factories or overseas labor in Chinese sweatshops. Every handbag is hand crafted individually by leather artisans in America. By ordering a handbag from Jacki Easlick LLC you are helping to preserve New York City's historic fashion district. We celebrate old world craftsmanship with modern New York style.
What was it like to design for Kenneth Cole, Hello Kitty and Target?
I have designed handbags for many different brands and each one is unique based on their brand and identity. Kenneth Cole has a cool and edgy look and feel it their products where Hello Kitty is a pop culture icon that is sweet and youthful. Target is fashion at a price where the designs are on trend and they are made out of very affordable materials.
What attracted you to producing bags in NYC? How do you ensure that your materials are sourced domestically?
I was exhausted from traveling to China every few months. It’s a 20 hour flight one way and when you get there you typically work 14 hour days every day in a factory that has no heat or air conditioning. It’s exhausting. I love the idea of creating jobs for people in the U.S and I now take the train to Grand Central and I walk to my factory and I typically only spend an hour or so working with the factory. They are very skilled and they speak English. I order all the leathers myself and I work very closely with my factory. They also manufacture for Rebecca Minkoff, Kooba, Botkier and DVF so I know the quality is very good.
How has the fashion community responded to your collection?
I base my success on the actual customers not the fashion community. I have shipped all over the world directly off our own website. I have shipped to Australia, Germany, Italy, London, Mexico City, China and Iraq. When I sent out my first press release I received my first 4 orders from an U.S Intelligence Specialist who was living in Basra which is in Iraq. They loved the idea of Made in the U.S.A because they were fighting a battle to protect us during war. I have shipped other styles to several other Intelligence Specialists living in other parts of the world as well. My customers are very smart and powerful women which is amazing to me. I have sold to Doctors, Artists, Business Owners, and I have partnered with many women involved in supporting 70+ charities throughout the U.S. I also participated in the Sundance Film Festival in 2012.
Who or what has been your greatest inspiration?
Women in general are my greatest inspiration, I study them like an anthropologist. I love to travel to various countries and I do trend reporting on fashion, colors, prints, handbags and what women wear. I’m a contributing writer and trend expert for www.Hall-Five.com and I’m currently featured for my Caribbean trend reporting trip. http://www.hall-five.com/intelligence/retail-trends-the-caribbean-by-jacki-easlick I also recently attended a focus group study on handbags and women and I asked the question – what are the top 10 items that women carry in their handbags. I love to understand how women use their handbags and what they put inside of them. It’s a very secretive and personalized space for a woman.
In which direction do you plan to take your line in the future?
I love timeless designs with a classic and sexy edge. My colors and my styles are timeless and I love that because they never go out of style. I’m going to continue to introduce high quality functional and convertible handbags in high end leather. I am currently working on designing a beautiful functional work tote for the business woman. It’s important that handbags follow technology and my current Jacki E. tote has a iPad pocket built in and I think that’s very important as form follows function.
Favorite City? London
Travel Destination? Bali
Hotel? Tribeca Grand
Restaurant? Beauty and Essex in Manhattan
Museum or gallery? The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Film? Chocolat with Juliette Binoche and Judi Dench
Book? The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (I believe in what you put out there comes back to you) Cause(s) closest to your heart? I have participated in over 70 charity events in the past year – I love helping people in need. I also love helping orphans.
Artist? My Dad Jack Easlick. He used to paint and sketch on our basement walls when I was a little girl. He was my inspiration to become an artist.
Bar? Buddha Bar
Shop? Henri Bendel
Drink? Tom Collins
Top 3 songs? Plasir De France - Catriona Irving Imik Si Mik - Hindi Zahra Morning Flow – Malik Alary