As laudable as they are from a save-the-whales perspective, vegan accessories often fall short in the feel good / look good arenas. Not so Vivi, a new sub-collection of Elezar, the three year-old contemporary handbag line created by graphic designer Julie Lazarus.
After a lengthy search, Lazarus finally found an animal-friendly material that met her exacting standards. "I'd been to trade shows that offered a bunch of different vegan options," she says. "But there were two things that drew me to what I used for Vivi. First, it looks and feels and feels distressed, and you don't see that very often in fabricated—or fake—leather. And it's also biodegradable. So it was a no-brainer."
Debuting with three styles (extra-roomy tote, barrel and evening), plans are already underway for additional looks. In other words, Vivi isn't a one-off to keep the PETA folks at bay. (Hardly, given that the rest of Elezar is wall to wall "real" leather.) "We'll definitely keep vegan styles in the line," says Lazarus. "In fact, I'm working on new ones right now."