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Ten questions with Abbe Held of Kooba bags

Meet Kooba's founder and creative director, Abbe HeldAbbe Held is a true trendsetter. As the co-founder and Creative Director of Kooba, Abbe and her mother Bonnie launched the line over ten years ago after searching for the perfect bag. They couldn’t find what they wanted, went home and designed their own collection and voila – Kooba was born! You’ve seen Kooba’s trendsetting bags (and shoes) on the pages of fashion magazines, on your favorite TV shows, gracing the arms of celebrities and on women all over the world. We recently had the chance to chat with Abbe to ask her 10 questions including what’s haute from Kooba for Fall and Spring, her personal likes and loves and of course, which Kooba bag is her personal fave! Read on:

Handbag du Jour: Tell us what trends are on your radar for Fall 2010. Which ones do you absolutely love and which ones do you want to go away?
Abbe Held: I love that everything is becoming more minimalist this season…the clean lines paired with beautiful fabrics and little details that add that finishing touch. I’m also excited to bring out my old long slim skirts and lace-up boots. I am ready to turn in my jeggings.

HdJ: Tell us what’s new and haute from Kooba this season and where you got your inspiration for Kooba’s new Fall collection.
AH: I am loving our Bryce bucket bag this season. It reminds me of what I wore all throughout college. We’ve done several versions in suede, leather, and snakeskin. Our Fall shoes just arrived in stores and the Wendy platform wedge is perfect for making you look taller and leaner!!! I can’t stop wearing our Carly wrap leather clog boots. They go with absolutely everything.
HdJ: What is your ‘formula’ for designing each season?
AH: Our collection always originates from the most supple luxurious leathers: the textures, the weights, the finishes…all determine how the bag is created. The shapes are organically crafted based on this…the hardware is dressing! We strive to make each bag unique, timeless, and able to make a statement of its own.

HdJ: Which celebrity’s style most inspires you and/or which do you love the most?
AH: I love independence and confidence and I appreciate the woman who can mix high, low, old and new to create her own unique style. I think it’s important to wear what looks good on you and not necessarily what’s on trend. Good examples would be Sienna Miller, Kate Moss and Cate Blanchett.

HdJ: Who are your top personal favorite designers/brands?
AH: Zero + Maria Cornejo, Lanvin, Helmut Lang, J.Crew

HdJ: What are your favorite places to shop and why?
AH: Barney’s – love the flow of the merchandise – it’s so edited that it’s easy to find great pieces and the music is always great
Apple Store – I always love all the latest gadgets. I’m never without my iPad!
Project 8 – a boutique on the Lower East Side that has a variety of designers
Tenoversix – great accessory store in LA that I love going to whenever I am in town
Sephora – I can get lost in there for hours

HdJ: Which Kooba bag is your all time favorite?
AH: It’s so hard. There are so many favorites for all different reasons.
HdJ: Which Kooba bag are you carrying right now and what must-have items are always inside of it?
AH: There are always a few that I am wearing at the same time depending on what I am doing. For work every day, I wear the Carter…I love it! On weekends, the Bryce bucket bag is perfect for running around. It’s lightweight, looks great with anything and just the right size to throw in all my essentials, like Burt’s bees lip balm, sunglasses, my daughters epipen, Altoid wintergreen mints and my iPhone.

HdJ: What are some of your favorite things to do in your spare time?
AH: I love dancing with my kids, rollerblading, furniture shopping, and finding new music.

HdJ: What can we look forward to from Kooba for Spring 2011?
AH: The spring 2011 collection is inspired by our old signature detailing that have made our bags so unique and iconic. Natasha is back with brand new hardware in pop colored printed snakeskin. Our new Dasha tote is light, effortless and is the perfect complement to our new high-wedge shoes. Spring 2011 is all about the pairing of soft versatile shapes and rich dramatic leathers.

Thank you Abbe for chatting with Handbag du Jour!

Do YOU have a favorite Kooba bag? Share it in the comments section below!

Shop Kooba bags at Nordstrom, Zappos, Pink Mascara and Bluefly!

Click to read more handbag designer interviews on Handbag du Jour

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3 responses to "Ten questions with Abbe Held of Kooba bags"

  1. NIKKI says:

    OMG. The Wendy Platfor Wedge is exactly the shoe I’ve been looking for for Fall/Winter. Perfect with black skinny jeans or a tight bandage dress. Yummy!

  2. Noor says:

    Love the story behind Kooba! such a strong message for women everywhere! and I also really really really like how cool the Monroe looks!

  3. Nicole says:

    Good to know Pink Mascara carries Kooba. Will have to swing by there and do some window shopping! 🙂 🙂

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