Light & Lasting by Merle Wilkening | 2nd September, 2022 | Playground
With their sustainable label Vee Collective, Lili Radu and her husband Patrick Löwe have revolutionized the handbag market.
Lili Radu, you established your first handbag label at the end of 2010. Then, in late 2017, you and your husband launched Vee Collective. What’s the idea behind this label?
After spending a lot of time talking to customers we realized that contemporary women are looking for something new. Mothers, businesswomen, younger women, older women – they all want a lightweight bag with enough space to hold everything they need throughout the day. There was nothing like this available. At Vee Collective we design bags that accompany women as they go about their daily lives.
You claim that your “Vee Tote” is the world’s most lightweight bag. Why is weight so important?
Many women carry so much stuff with them from morning to night, it’s crucial to keep the weight of the bag itself to a minimum. Our models are made of ripstop nylon, a fabric that’s incredibly lightweight but extremely durable and also water repellent. All of our bags are 100% recycled – from the lining to the vegan leather details to the zippers.
Fashion influencers around the world choose your bags, including model Toni Garrn. How did your Berlin label become an international success?
Last year we grew by 600%. We’re working with an international distributor who sells our label in showrooms in London, Paris, Milan, Shanghai and New York. We’re growing our direct sales business in Switzerland at the moment, we will be moving into Scandinavia at the end of the year and intend to focus more strongly on the U.S. and Asia. We want our bags to sell more successfully than any others worldwide.
What’s your next project?
We’re convinced that if you stand still you fall behind. Our sourcing team in Hong Kong is constantly on the lookout for innovative new things. We were the first fashion brand to introduce water soluble packaging. In November we’ll be launching our third line of bags made of nylon from old bomber jackets.