Thursday, July 25, 2013

BAG LADY: Stella Grey's Sally Papedis

Sally Papedis. You may not instantly recognize the name but if you were Oprah Winfrey or any one of the “Pretty Little Liars” cast mates (above), you certainly would. 

The flaxen-haired brainchild and creative designer first made waves when she launched Stella Grey, a “wear-it-anywhere” collection of minimalistic totes, carry-alls, and cosmetic cases (think crocodile and python-embossed leathers, buttery soft suede and colorful hides) she launched in 2011. Since then, her bags have quickly become a cult classic, spotted on stylish shoulders and packed inside the suitcases of the well-traveled.

Hide These: Stella Grey Crosby Cases

Not one to sit on her laurels for long, the designer, wife and mother of two is particularly excited about her latest creation: the “Addison Tote”, a voluminous carry-all swathed in rich, ostrich-embossed leather and available in a selection of bright hues (stark white one below is our favorite). A perfect summery accessory that can accompany you anywhere – from pool parties to weekend retreats. Need one for your own collection? Click HERE and start shopping! Enter promotional code: “LUXE25” to receive a complimentary 25% discount on this bag OR any Stella Grey item at check-out. Offer good through August 11, 2013.

Stella Grey Addison Tote

We recently caught up the fashion industry sweetheart who quipped on skinny jeans, her fashion obsessions and foreign blokes named “Hugh”.

Sally Papedis

What first inspired you to launch a line of luxury handbags, clutches and travel cases? 
Someone once told me how challenging it was to find a contemporary cosmetic bag, anything that didn’t remind them of one their grandmother might carry. I realized the fashion market was missing this segment – luxurious makeup bags and carryalls – and I wanted to create one that was functional and attractive. I was soon researching high-end vegan leather fabrics that were waterproof, durable and easy to clean. A month later, I had designed my first prototype.

Why did you name your line, Stella Grey?
During my design school days, I was this cool punk rocker that went by the name “Stella”. I always liked the name “Grey”, it’s a neutral name. When I first wrote the name down on a piece of paper, it was like b-i-n-g-o!

Which bag are you carrying?
The “Addison Tote” in white ostrich. It’s so lightweight and I can take it with me anywhere: the gym, pool, or out for a casual meal with my family. You can throw a lot into it.

What’s in your handbag right now?
Stella Grey. A “Sloane Pouch” (below) in blue python for my makeup and a vegan “Crosby Case” which holds my wallet, iPhone, lip balm, business cards and keys.

Stella Grey Sloane Pouch

Work uniform:
Skinny jeans, wedges and a Stella Grey hide cuff. When I’m at shows, I’ll wear a Stella Grey tee. As they say: it pays to advertise.

Where you go for inspiration:
Inspiration is everywhere. I am always watching what women are pulling out of their purses, especially their cosmetic cases.

Favorite store or boutique in Chicago:
Perchance Gold Coast.

Perchance Gold Coast

Favorite restaurant in Chicago:
Tavern on Rush.

Favorite travel destination:
I was in Paris for 24 hours and would love to return.

Whom I most admire:
Strong women with a positive attitude about life, love and family.

Three words that best describe me: 
Fun, motivated and strong.

My celebrity crush: 
Hugh Laurie and Hugh Jackman (or foreign men with the first name of “Hugh”).

XO Hugh Jackman XO

Most decadent thing I have ever purchased:  
A pair of Fendi sandals.

Favorite indulgence: 
Chocolate-dusted almonds from Harrods of London.

From London With Love

Favorite songs on my iPod:
Anything with a good beat that gets me moving.

Book I am reading:
My business has consumed a lot of my free time in the last few years but I’m looking forward to tackling a long list of suggested reads.

Guiltiest pleasure:
Reality TV.

Facebook or Twitter:

I stay home to watch:
"Mad Men" with my hubby.

My hidden talent:
I’m an ex-gymnast which means I can still pull off a few tricks on a diving board or a flying trapeze.

Signature cocktail: 
A big goblet of crisp pinot grigio or a stiff margarita on the rocks, no salt.

Words of Wisdom:
"Ask for help.” It never ceases to amaze me how people will come to another’s aid. Don’t be afraid or too proud to let them know when you really need it.

I can’t get through a day without:

Needful Things

The worst advice I was ever given: 
"Go big or go home”. I am more interested in creating longevity and brand recognition than simply making a lot of money fast.

Why I love doing what I do:
Having a creative outlet that was always missing when I was working in the corporate world. I also enjoy being my own boss.

Advice for anyone pursuing a career in design:
Be patient. Don’t dwell on your mistakes, learn from them.

Luxe File Chicago has dedicated its site to the “love of living luxuriously”. Finish this sentence, “When it comes to living luxuriously, always…”
Carry a Stella Grey bag.

Click HERE to shop the Stella Grey collection.

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