Hunting for the perfect summer weekender, or perhaps a clutch for a night on the town? Look no further than Deux Lux handbags, the brain child of Los Angeles based Fati Mahdavi and her Manhattan based daughter, Sara Naghedi. The mother daughter team launched their colorful collection in 2005 and thanks to their innate flair for style, business has been booming since. We caught up with the lovely ladies at their showroom in New York’s Flatiron District and Sara’s chic apartment to get the scoop on all things Deux Lux.
Let's start from the beginning! Where did you grow up and how did it influence your aesthetic?
Sara: I was born in Germany and lived there for several years before moving to Los Angeles. The L.A. culture definitely embraces a relaxed beachy aesthetic but my mom, having lived in Europe for over ten years, preferred a more put together look which also influenced me quite a bit. I think you'll find my aesthetic lives somewhere in between.
What inspired you to launch a handbag line?
Sara: I was a girl who always adored accessories, from jewelry to handbags to shoes to hats. I needed it all and thought that no outfit was complete until you accessorized it. I had just graduated from law school and knew that being a lawyer wasn't for me, but I was also scared of changing my career path in such a drastic way. Having my own handbag line was a dream of mine; so I took a chance and my parents took a chance on me as well.
Had you ever considered going into business together?
Sara: I don't think growing up I had ever thought I'd work with my mom. It really happened organically. While I had a real passion for the company I didn't have any formal design training. My mom and dad are both architects so she started helping me with the design aspects and we just found that we worked so well together and the company flourished.
Fati, could you always tell Sara would grow up to do something creative?
Fati: Yes, I always saw in Sara someone very unique, creative and ambitious. So I wasn't really too surprised when she wanted to work in fashion. The only thing that did surprise me was that it took her getting her law degree to come to the realization herself!
What's it like working as a mother-daughter team?
Sara: Amazing. I'm an only child so we were always close and this just brought us that much closer. We've had the opportunity to travel all over the world together as a result of our work. We have a few small disagreements here and there, but are able to laugh about it and move on.
What inspired your decision to use animal synthetics?
Sara: Several years ago there was a real evolution of the line that started out as a mix of leather and synthetics to only synthetics. We are huge animal lovers and the synthetics were getting so good that you almost couldn't tell the difference. We thought if we could switch to strictly animal friendly materials without compromising quality, then why not? So we did and we feel wonderful about our choice everyday. We are both strong believers in the idea that if everyone of us make a small change, we will all benefit from its wider impact.
Fati, what is your favorite bag from the line?
Fati: I am in love with the Empire City Duffle in the denim colorway. I just love the denim and hot pink combination - so fun!
Sara: I just love my woven denim duffle. Surprisingly, it goes with everything and I just think it's so different.
Sara, your apartment is gorgeous! How did you approach the decoration?
Sara: The first thing I did was enlist the help of my dear friends at Scout Designs. I have always loved Nicki and Callie's aesthetic and approach and I knew they would carry out my vision perfectly. I wanted a beautifully serene space that was elegant and a little eclectic. I wanted to keep it as light and airy as possible, but I also have a large chocolate lab that needed to be taken into consideration - a light color couch was out of the question! The girls were able to create a space that encompassed all the elements I wanted and it became a true reflection of me.
Do you have a most treasured piece in your apartment?
Sara: I absolutely love the mirror in my entry way. Nicki and Callie found this gem in India and it’s made of wood and little mirror pieces. When you walk in it's the first thing you see and it really makes a statement.
How many bags do you have in your apartment?
Sara: I have a small collection of vintage clutches, but as for large bags I only have two or three! New York closet space is not enough for a big bag collection, so the showroom serves as a very large handbag closet and I switch out at work whenever I want.
Deux Lux has grown so quickly since its launch 6 years ago! W
Sara: We draw universal appeal from women around the globe--from Tokyo to Tennessee. I think it’s because we offer a unique balance of high quality handbags that are hip yet accessibly priced. My mom and I are uncompromising in our search for quality materials & hardware, yet are also very focused on keeping the collection under $300 so that it is affordable and obtainable.
Where can Matchbook girls find your fantastic bags?
We are sold in Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, and many boutiques around the country as well as on websites such as Shopbop. We also just completed the opening of our 3rd free-standing store in Tokyo--very exciting!