From Warby Parker to Urban Zen by Donna Karan, sustainable and philanthropic initiatives are on the rise in the fashion industry. And at State Bags, the the company hand delivers a fully-stocked backpack to a U.S. child in need for every bag it sells.
Here, Lizzy de Vries, the company’s sales director, talks prints, colors and the importance of maintaining a presence at Children’s Club. Purely digital, the wholesale brand relies heavily on its retail partners to continue the movement of giving back to those in need — one backpack at a time.
WWD: How does State Bags set itself apart from other bag brands on the market?
Lizzy de Vries: We’re a one-for-one backpack brand. For every bag we sell, we hand-deliver one to a child in a situation of need in America. Last year we partnered with Barak Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Foundation and we gave away a thousand bags in 40 cities in the country in which he has that foundation.
WWD: What are some of the key influences to the overall aesthetic of the collection?
L.d.V.: We are a men’s, women’s and kids’ brand and we definitely stand for color and print sensibilities. There’s nowhere you see that color and print sensibility like you do in our kids’ world. That’s where you see play with color-blocking, specifically with print. In spring we have an ice cream cone print and an animal print, a surfboard print for little boys.
WWD: How have trade shows like Children’s Club helped your brand evolve?
L.d.V.: Children’s Club has been a show that has really believed in us since the beginning. I find that people are really looking to go touch and feel a bag. Being that we don’t have a brick-and-mortar store, being at a trade show like this is so important.
WWD: Does State Bags ever collaborate with its retailers to give back to communities in need?
L.d.V.: A company like Diverse.com is actually a retailer who found us at this show and last year we did a bag-drop rally with them. So all of the employees from Diverse.com met us at a school in Harlem, and together with the State Bag team and the Diverse.com team, we were able to give back bags to some kids in the neighborhood.