What better way to make a statement than with personalised leather goods? Nothing says luxe like coordinated accessories, each monogrammed with your own initials. The perfect bespoke touch to any look, monogramming is having a serious moment in the fashion world right now. With so many options on offer it can be difficult to know where to start.
Luckily, Adelaide’s very own Zeena Anthony-Qureshi has answered all of our accessorising prayers with The Bag Collective, a range of high quality leather goods, embossed right here in SA. Local production is only one of the reasons we can’t get enough of the TBC collection. Zeena’s eye for detail and dedication to her line ensures luxury accessories that go the distance.
Whether you’re looking to glam it up or just want to upgrade your daily carry, The Bag Collective is the finishing touch to any and all fashion forays.
We sat down with the boss lady herself to talk all things TBC and get the inside scoop on the luxe line of accessories.
We’ve watched The Bag Collective’s range grow to encompass phone cases, baby bags, luggage tags and more. What first inspired you to monogram high quality leather goods?
I was on my sick bed away from work for the day and I was literally lying there – I’m a really hopeless and bad patient, I hate being home sick because it just drives me insane and I’d rather be busy all the time – and I was thinking there’s got to be more to my day job (I’m a lawyer by day). I was trying to figure out what my passion was and what my interests were in life. Like any woman, I have a love for all things fashion and accessories and so forth.
That just got me thinking about what I can do, so I did a bit of research and realised that I had a personal love for handbags and that there were two companies out there who did monogrammed leather goods. I was literally a case of me saying to myself ‘well why can’t I do this?’ and that’s where the notion was born. It obviously wasn’t my invention or creation, I just thought that there’s obviously a market out there for this and why don’t I give this a go.
How do you go about balancing your day job in law, The Bag Collective and maintaining the rest of your life?
It’s very hard and I’m very much of the notion that "I’ll sleep when I die". So I fit it in every now and then during the day when I can, but I do work 10-hour days as a lawyer and then come home and have to focus on my bag business. On the weekend I get the opportunity to do that as well. It’s quite a difficult balancing act, which I hope is actually going to get worse because that means that my bag business will be better off!
So I take it that you’re one of those people that is more productive when they’re busy?
Absolutely! Oh my gosh. Yes!
The high quality feel of The Bag Collective’s products have been a hit with your customers – can you tell us a little more about the benefits of using Saffiano leather?
I did do a lot of research into different leathers, and I know a lot of companies use sub-par quality leather in order to maximise their profits. I definitely wanted to pick a leather that was durable, strong, and would weather a storm so to speak. It’s water resistant to a certain extent as well, so that’s why I decided to focus on it as my primary leather material for my goods. It’s good to emboss as well – it really takes to the gold foil embossing so that’s another reason I picked Saffiano leather.
We’ve seen The Bag Collective on the arm of some incredible Adelaide influencers including Sarah Jane Stevens, Karylle, Lauren Dilena, Erin Scott and champion of South Australian producers, Katelyn Ellery, just to name a few – what has been the response to TBC from the wider Adelaide fashion scene?
It has been really positive. I’ve had a number of people, including those high profile people, who have told me how good the quality is. That has obviously meant a lot to me because that’s first and foremost what I pride myself on. As I said before, I don’t want that to be overlooked, I don’t want it to suffer and all I want is to produce a really quality product – that is the emphasis of my bag line. It has been really positive and I always receive compliments on the types of products, the quality and how long they last as well. I have received really great feedback from those sorts of people, as well as just everyday people - at the end of the day they’re the ones buying the products so I need to make sure that they’re 100% happy.
Tying into that eye for detail, you must be a bit of a perfectionist to be embossing the bags yourself!
I am, I am! I have allowed some people to help me out but at the end of the day I am very pedantic and unless I’m 100% happy with it, I’m not going to release it. At the end of the day if they’re not happy then there’s no point doing what I’m doing. So yes, when it comes to that I am very much a perfectionist and I just want everything to be perfect for my customers.
Colour blocking is having a comeback this SS17, with a hint of 80’s revival hitting the runway. How can we incorporate TBC’s range of bold colours into our everyday look?
I’m personally a fan of big, bright, bold colours. Obviously black is a staple but I think nothing speaks louder than a bright coloured accessory. For me, I feel like any of the colours in my range can be incorporated into an everyday look. Whether it’s just jeans and a t-shirt and the mustard pouch, or if you’re trying to glam it up a bit in a black maxi silk dress, you could use the aqua pouch. I feel that the colours are quite versatile and there’s plenty to choose from - whether you want something that is bright and bold or if you want a staple like the black or blush.
The Bag Collective has become a must-have brunch accessory, but we’ve seen the pouch hit the red carpet recently with Erin Phillips at the Brownlow. What are you tips for styling the TBC pieces up for evening wear?
It can be a bright, colourful statement or it can be something subtle to compliment an outfit. It’s a handy size to use if you are going out to one of these glam events where you just need something small, and you just want to fit a few items of makeup, your credit card and your phone – it’s perfect for that. It’s also not big and bulky so you’re not going to have to lug it around with you.
Finally, what are items you keep in your pouch that you can’t leave the house without?
I can't leave without my phone! If I didn’t have my phone I would probably die because that’s the means of everything I do – I need to be in constant contact with people via telephone or email.
The Bag Collective is available online here, or keep up with all things TBC on their Instagram and Facebook @the_bag_collective.
Thank you to Zeena, Ben Neale, Alexia Frangos, Ellie Parker MUA, Adelaide Braiding and models Erin Scott, Sarah-Jane Stevens and Karylle for making the photoshoot an absolute success.
Images via Ben Neale.