When founder Theresa fell in love with Amsterdam, it was clear she would start her own vegan business from there, too. The brand she cooked up, Osier, became a vegan luxury handbag brand with an eye toward transforming the fashion industry. We met Theresa during a research trip for our Amsterdam guide back in January and talked about her brand and her love for Amsterdam.
Hi Theresa. What was the impetus for starting Osier? What made you take the leap to launch your business?
My parents run their own green energy business, so sustainability and entrepreneurship are part of our family's DNA. I always knew that I wanted to have my own business and after going vegan five years ago, I found my calling.
How long has Osier been around? What has the response been from your loyal customers and those coming across your collection for the first time?
On the backend, I had been working on finding the right suppliers and partners, all while building our team for a while now. We officially launched our collection in August 2018 and recently celebrated our one-year anniversary by hosting a great event here in Amsterdam, inviting friends from the industry, and introducing our second collection, made from recycled PET bottles and apple leather.
Do you have a flagship store? Or online only?
Most of our sales come directly through our website but we collaborate with like-minded retail partners who share our vision about a sustainable future of fashion. We have retail locations in Amsterdam and New York, and London will follow soon.
"I strongly believe that the fashion industry will need to undergo some major shifts."
Tell us more about the vision for Osier. And how the name came about.
Our mission is to transform the fashion industry with a focus on sustainability, transparency and quality. I strongly believe that the fashion industry will need to undergo some major shifts and breakthroughs to transition into an ethical industry and I am proud that Osier is part of this transition. The name ‘osier’ originates from French and means ‘willow tree’. I love the symbolism of nature and growth behind it and was instantly in love with the sound of the word.
How would you describe the brand’s aesthetic?
Clean, chic and timeless.
Do you design and manufacture the bags yourself? And where are they manufactured?
We have an in-house design team that creates each of our beautiful bags from scratch. We then work very closely with our small atelier in Bucharest, Romania to turn these designs into beautiful bags.
What is the most popular item you’ve designed and stocked? Any particular reason why?
Our Jordaan bag in bourdeaux red has been a huge hit! I was surprised because even though its design is my favorite of our entire collection, I wasn’t sure if people would like the colour as much as we do. But it has been so successful that we now launched a similar color in our new material: apple leather. Thank you, Theresa.
This feature is an excerpt (with exclusive, new images, though). If you want to read the full interview, get your hands on "Amsterdam - the plantbased Guide".
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