An EXCLUSIVE Q&A Interview with Leoluca Handbag Designers

By Laura Miles

During the past two years, the fashion industry has lightened up with an array of bright and wild colors juxtaposed with neutrals. This trend is here to stay and I recently had the chance to interview the designers behind Leoluca and ask them questions about their beginning, their goals, and the interesting story behind the name of their brand.

Oh, and did I mention their beautiful handbags are made in the USA?

How did you come up with the name, Leoluca?

We wanted a name that embodied who we are as designers. We both have Italian roots, and this name is derived from an Italian saint, Saint Leoluca, as well as an Italian 1950’s mobster, Leoluca Bagarella. The fact that the name is derived from both good and evil describes our design aesthetic as well as our personal style. When we design we like to pair soft buttery leathers with edgy hardware. In our personal style we often pair vintage with new or feminine with masculine. 

 Was there a particular desert location that inspired you for the 'Desert Love Collection'?

There was no particular desert location that inspired us for that collection. We wanted to do something a little more Earthy and natural since our last collection was all black and white. The desert has always been a great place to draw inspiration from.

The "Scarlett" by leoluca

"We want to provide our customers with something they can use for more than one scenario. When designing the bags we really try to think about what people want or need in a handbag and create that." 

My favorite is the “Madrid”, the Robin’s Egg Blue is such a delicious color. I would wear it with everything! How difficult is it, as a designer, to choose one color in a collection that stands out from the rest?

It is extremely hard to edit down colors, sometimes we want to use them all! Unfortunately we cannot provide every bag in every color so we really have to make hard decisions and chose what we think our customer is going to like. 

The "Madrid" by leoluca

How did you get started?

We were looking for a way to express our creativity in a business aspect. We have always had a passion for fashion and accessories, we feel that you can really take your outfit to the next level with the right accessories. Handbags seemed to be the natural choice for us to move into because we were always looking for the perfect bag for a particular outfit.

Who has been your biggest influence?

This is a great question and there are so many different people who have influenced what we do. Looking back at the life of someone like Coco Chanel has been such a huge inspiration to us because we see a woman who was classy, independent, and a trendsetter all at the same time. That is inspiring to us because it shows you that you can be who you want, and you can live the life you want, you just have to go out there and start taking the steps in that direction. 

The 805 definitely has an aesthetic of its own when it comes to fashion, how would you define your city’s fashion?                                                                            
Most people are pretty laid back here, but it really depends what part of the city you are in. In the beach area, most people have a trendy but laid back look and if you go downtown it is that same look just a little more sophisticated. 

What handbag trends do you see forthcoming in 2013?

Boho Chic is still going to be a huge trend going into 2013. Contrasting colors are still going to be huge, neutral with neon, etc.

Can you give us a hint on what to look forward to from Leoluca for the Fall/Winter ’12 season?

We have some more structured looks coming out this Fall/Winter along with some silver and nickel hardware vs. our usual gold. 

More selections from their Spring/Summer 2012 line can be seen on their website,


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