As a former fashion blogger myself, I recognize both the allure and influence behind fashion trends. Just two years ago, I was swapping my maxi skirts for minis, solids for prints, and flats for 4-inch heels, all in tune with the ultra flashy style of the Y2K era. Now, thanks to the influence of TikTok and the userbases' obsession with the unseasonably rich, there is a term that has been quietly but steadily gaining momentum—"quiet luxury." And I believe the term finally puts the style behind my bag designs into words.
Although the term’s prefix is “quiet,” it has actually been quite loud: it challenges the notion that opulence must be flaunted through logos and ostentatious displays of wealth. Instead, it emphasizes the intrinsic value of well-crafted, high-quality pieces that speak for themselves. This shift towards discretion is reflective of changing consumer values, with a growing emphasis on sustainability, craftsmanship, and individuality.
If you’ve read my founder’s story, you’ll learn these three components were everything I wished for when starting OLEADA. Through my research and first-person experience, I learned everyone deserves a handbag that’s price, form and function are made to last. And in an era of fast fashion and disposable trends, quiet luxury withstands the test of time. Our handbag designs are not confined to a single season, but rather designed to transcend seasons and trends, becoming cherished items in a person's wardrobe for years, if not decades.
Clean lines, neutral colors, quality (and recyclable!) leathers, and minimalist designs are what make our handbags closet staples. As someone who also came from a strict corporate background, I not only wanted—but needed— a bag that didn’t need to be swapped out of your closet rotation simply because it didn’t match your everyday outfits, and one whose craftsmanship can withstand daily wear and tear.
I also made the conscious decision to hide the “OLEADA” logo on each bag, placing it either on the back of the bag or the side corners. But never front and center. Some of you may be thinking: Why? Shouldn’t you want others to know the brand name of the expensive handbag you bought?
Well, there is strength in subtleties: rather than loudly announcing its presence, the makings of the bag itself whisper with confidence. I never wanted to rely on logos or conspicuous branding to make a statement. In all of fashion, this takes away the assumption that the brand name is what makes it a quality piece, and replaces it with an appreciation for the craftsmanship, quality, and attention to detail, no matter the brand name.
If someone likes the bag, I’d rather they appreciate the beauty of the craftsmanship enough from afar, to entice them to engage with the wearer and ask them where they got their bag. Doesn’t that make it all the more special?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love trends as much as the next person (you should see my closet). But what truly makes quiet luxury a force to be reckoned with is its alignment with sustainability for the fashion world. Because we produce high-quality pieces with timeless designs, we reduce the need for frequent replacements. Because I wanted the materials of each bag to be as recyclable as they are durable, I made a conscious effort to keep my consumers happy long-term, reduce my brand’s waste, and lessen both mine and their strains on the environment.
Lastly, I’d like to define OLEADA as "quiet luxury" because the brand is meant to foster a personal connection between the wearer and the item. When you invest in an OLEADA handbag it’s more than an accessory: you’re wearing a piece that tells a story.
And the story isn’t just about my Co-founder Tracy and I quitting our corporate jobs three years ago to make something of ourselves. It represents the story of how all women strive in their careers. We want each woman to see our bags as a tool for inspiration, so much so that when they look back, they find that their stories inspired the next generation of girls, and their achievements have also planted seeds toward a bigger change - a more gender-balanced world.