Nigel Stanislaus: I’m so excited to meet Lana Hopkins. She’s the pocket rocket Sydney girl who couldn’t find the perfect handbag, so she made her own. In Mon Purse she has built a $13-million leather goods empire, and her design-your-own bags have been spotted on the arms of everyone from Sienna Miller, Lily Collins and Meghan Markle. Tell me Lana, did you always want to create a fashion label?
Lana Hopkins: When I was a little girl I used to always go through mum’s wardrobe, and she had the most divine handbags and shoes, everything of the most exquisite leather quality. Being a young girl and playing in her wardrobe really inspired me.
So what made you start Mon Purse?
I was actually running around looking for the perfect handbag. As I was about to walk out of Westfield I ended up stumbling upon the Build-A-Bear workshop.
I love that store!
I spent an hour and a half building a little stuffed toy from scratch. I realised
‘This was it!’ If you could create your perfect teddy bear, why could you not create your perfect handbag?
So tell me, in the early days what was it like setting up the business?
The way that handbags are traditionally made you can get 1000 of the same handbag manufactured at the same time, but not one at a time specific to your needs. So I had to embark on building my own technology platform, learn how to code in the very early days and develop that myself.
You learnt how to code?
Now things are very different, they’re incredibly different. We’ve gone from my kitchen table straight to a team of over 80 people. We are in London, Birmingham and Manchester; we’ve just opened in New York and San Francisco as well at Bloomingdales. Five years ago something like this just would not have happened, to have a cult following cumulating your brand in that space.
What are your make-up must-haves?
For me it’s all about applying a beautiful lip balm every day, and sometimes I like to run a bit of a mascara through my eyelashes as well. In saying that, for a beautiful night out, I do like to have the support of an expert like you, so thank you.
You’re welcome. Let me know what you think about this?
Oh, wow. Nigel, you are a superstar!
Get Lana's look with the below products: