Inside Stitch

The official Vera Bradley blog

Talking Leather Trim

Talking Leather TrimAs we commemorate our 30th anniversary, Liz, our resident Trend Reporter, sat down with Executive Vice President of Design Kim Colby, Vice President of Design and Product Development Veronique Poudrier and Merchandising and Assortment Manager Emily McCabe for the details on Leather Trim.

Liz: What made you choose this combination of material to celebrate Vera Bradley’s 30th anniversary?

VP: We love the idea of dressing up our patterns for a special occasion. We were inspired by the fashion trend of mixing print with texture and colors. For our 30th anniversary we wanted to create a few special styles that give the identifiable Vera Bradley print an unexpected and polished element. As this trend continues, we look forward to giving you more colorful options to mix and match with your favorite Vera Bradley prints.
EM: Adding leather trim is an easy way for our consumer to express herself. We decided to release it over the holiday season because it is the perfect time for her to dress up her look.

Talking Leather Trim

Liz:  How did we select the colors for Leather Trim?

VP: Editing down to a few colors is always difficult! We wanted this collection to be exclusive, so we limited it to four colors, which were selected to represent a range of Vera Bradley print styles.
EM: Each color offers a different look and feel, and ties back to the rich black or brown leather trim the design team selected.
KC: Choosing neutral-colored leather let the hues of each pattern shine. We selected some of the newest colors as well as Suzani (from Winter 2011). We just couldn’t resist Suzani’s trendy jewel-tone palette combined with rich black trim.

Barbara Frame Bag

Liz: What is the story behind the names of each style?

VP: The Barbara, a frame bag named after our Co-founder, is Barb’s favorite. The Patricia is a crossbody, one of our most popular styles, and is stylish and practical. And, the Anniversary Wristlet, in its minimalist way, allows functionality to still be chic and timeless for girls of all ages. It’s a piece you can carry with you as an accessory or on its own.
KC: Thinking about 30 years of Vera Bradley we immediately thought of our Co-founders Barbara and Patricia, and how perfect it would be to celebrate this milestone by naming a style after each of them.

Patricia Crossbody

Liz: Which is your favorite piece from the collection?

VP: The Patricia Crossbody! I love its double personality. On the front, the leather trimmed flap and logo turnlock give it a great classic look. The interior is just roomy enough for all your basics, but then you unzip the back panel and find a complete wallet function. Chic and practical; it’s the best of both worlds.
KC: I love the Barbara Frame Bag! It’s the perfect mix of color, style, sophistication and fun. The size and silhouette are so good looking. It’s a great new classic.
EM: The Barbara Fame Bag is my favorite, too. I love the frame detail and the fact that it functions as a handheld style or a shoulder bag with the detachable strap. I carry a lot of things, so I love that it’s spacious enough to carry my essentials, yet stylish enough for a night out. When I carry this bag it feels like a part of my outfit and makes me feel special!

Liz: Did you have someone or something specific in mind (a certain customer, a certain trend) when designing these styles?

VP: We were really striving to cover all the features our customers love: function, great style and practicality. Plus, we wanted to give them a little extra dimension with the leather trim; that unexpected delight we love to offer.

Anniversary Wristlet

You can shop these Leather Trim styles now, online and in stores!


  • Deezee says:

    The Barbara is definitely on my Christmas list!

  • Lucy says:

    I actually prefer your products to not be made from blood. That is what drew me to Vera in the first place. I looked for a long time trying to find animal friendly products and was extremely happy when I found Vera. I now own multiple products and have gotten my sister and niece addicted too. I may have to look for a new favorite brand. I also don’t like that you are trying to go more upscale. There are other brands for that. You don’t need to! I know I am only one person’s opinion and probably in the minority of what I think, but thanks for listening anyway.

  • Sue T says:

    I agree with Lucy. I chose Vera products because I’m vegan and did not want an animal to suffer for my accessories. Sure the leather is pretty but at what cost? The cost of an animal’s life is not worth it to me. If people love leather there are plenty of other brands for them to enjoy. Vera has been perfect for me- no lead in the faux leather, better for the environment, no dead animals- just pretty fabric and great organization. Please don’t change your brand. There are many of us who chose your company for this reason. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to express how I feel. I LOVE Vera bags- please don’t make me look for another brand.

  • Angela M says:

    I love this post! I wish there was a post that started at phase 1 of the design/new pattern process and went all the way to the end. I am so curious how a pattern begins. I know people trend spot, but what happens after that? Does someone actually draw or paint ideas or is it all done on a computer? English Rose looks like a painting to me.

  • Alicia says:

    Will the Patricia Crossbody come in English Rose?

  • Jasmine says:

    I think the leather trim bags are attractive, but the reason that I love Vera Bradley so much is that the bags are washable, lIght weight and pretty. Adding leather trim, hardware, frames, et cetera. makes the bags not washable and heavier to carry.

    There are plenty of other handbags on the market that are heavy and not washable. If I wanted one of those I would buy one of those.

    Please do not lose what made Vera Bradley appealing in the first place.

  • Leola says:

    Excellent blog post. I definitely appreciate this website. Continue the
    good work!

  • Jennifer says:

    I agree with Lucy and Sue above. It’s nice to be able to purchase products without wondering or thinking about if animals are getting hurt so that I can have a handbag. Vera without leather is an easy way to purchase something pretty without having any worry. Please don’t change.

  • Kris says:

    I agree with Lucy, Sue, Ellen and Jennifer. I know the company of Vera Bradley has never put forth that they’re a vegan company, but ethical vegans, such as myself, have flocked to Vera Bradley for years because it was the best cruelty-free source for beautiful fashion combined with great function (kiss locks! pockets and more pockets!). Every time I’ve been complemented on a purse (quite often) I reply “Yes it’s nice, plus it’s vegan… so hard to find”. Since they’re already successful at what they’ve been doing, I don’t understand the change now to leather. Vera Bradley is unique and therefore really has no competitors to worry about. If they’re hoping to expand their fan base, I hope they realize they’re also losing part of the old fan base with this decision.

  • angie says:

    Complete agree with my vegan friends. So disappointed in the addition of leather.

  • Ophelia says:

    Hi, yes I am a vegan, female, and a minority and yes I agree with you guys no leather products!!!

  • Agree with all the comments above about the leather trim addition. So disappointed by Vera Bradley brand. It was not necessary and more importantly they are now contributing in animal suffering like most of other brand.

  • Rebecca says:

    One more voice to add on the disappointment of choosing an extra (unnecessary) fabric over the suffering of animals. I think you will lose more business over this choice than anticipated. Vegan brands are on the rise as people become more conscious of how their fashion choices affect others. Vera had a beautiful niche that is tainted by this choice.

  • Jenn Boynton says:

    I agree with the sentiments above–it is hard to find a really beautiful, earth-friendly, animal-friendly purse. I love Vera for all of that. I just bought a new Vera bag. Have other purses, wristlets, coin purses, etc. You could say I’m a fan! Love them because of the wearability, washability, lightness, (multitude of pockets!), and especially because there was no leather to be bothered with. Quite frankly, if this is to be a new Vera trend, I will look elsewhere in the future. Also, from a purely aesthetic perspective, I find the leather looks odd against the fabric. Sort of like a visual, weighty border that was tacked on as an afterthought. Just doesn’t look like it quite goes together for me. Then again, perhaps that’s because I thought the purses were perfect without! As one of the folks above stated, if we wanted upscale leather bags, there are so, so, so many other companies out there we could go to…Vera seems to be altering the very thing that makes them unique. Perhaps they did not know they had so many vegan fans…. Perhaps they will look to redesign next time in a happier, friendlier way….

  • Griz says:

    I also agree with Lucy.

    Thank you for speaking up. I hope they go back to being animal friendly, i also love their products but being vegan I will not purchase the leather items.

  • Alicia says:

    I agree with many of you expressing your sentiments about the ridiculous leather trim. I too am a vegan and was so happy Vera Bradley appeared to be cruelty free until I came across this article. Sadly disappointed. Goodbye Vera Bradley.

  • abbey says:

    also vegan. also a big fan of vera.not anymore!

  • Misty Garrett says:

    I’m very disappointed!! I’m vegan and I have over 100 Vera Products. Every Christmas I buy all 10 of my coworkers Vera products, plus my family members. I will not buy anymore from this company as long as they support animal abuse !

  • Margie says:

    I agree, vegan & cruelty free please!

  • I really hope you guys are reading these comments and listening. We need to stop this violent, cruel, disgusting sociopathic practice of adorning ourselves with the things we kill. Not to mention the irresponsible use of our resources and the destruction of our environment. Bad choice, Vera. Bad Choice.

  • Susan says:

    Looking to buy my first Vera Bradley purse and only interested in Vegan products. Please reconsider the leather trim for future designs.

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