Burberry, Chanel, Marc Jacobs Not Your Thing?
How ‘bout some Cha Cha...
YOU WANTED TO KNOW
Gotta bag fetish? Are you one of those grrls who have a different bag to match every single one of your different fashion statements (ahem, Shari!)? Then you must’ve heard of Cha Cha.
Cha Cha is the über cool handbag line designed by innovator extraordinaire, Lori Chalmers. Her bags are quickly becoming the must-have handbag for the fashion forward. I’m personally feelin’ the Lady Bird design. I must get one before they’re all sold out!
I recently read about Lori and I wanted to find out a little bit more about her collection. She politely worked me into her very busy schedule and I got the opportunity to ask her a few questions.
I love the name of your company, how did you come up with it?
My name is Lori Chalmers and growing up one of my best friends was also named Lori, so people started calling me by my last name to separate us. When people grew tired of Chalmers it somehow got shortened to “Cha Cha” and just stuck.
When did you start creating handbags?
It was in college. I started college a little later then most people, so by the time I got there I was pretty much past the whole party mode that many college students are in, so I entertained myself by making all kinds of stuff with my old sewing machine in my spare time.
Where did you learn how to create handbags?
Lots of trial and error. When I started I would buy cheap bags from Goodwill, take them apart and see how they were made. From there I figured out how to make my own patterns.
What materials do you use to create your designs?
Leather, canvas, wool. I do lots of silk-screening, different hardware, anything I find that looks interesting.
When did you start selling your handbags?
I started by doing a few small shows around Toronto two years ago.
What inspires you?
I love people watching. Sometimes I get some of my best ideas by just observing my surroundings.
How would you describe your pieces?
The first thing that comes to mind is detailed. Detail is very important to me, I really have to try and differentiate myself from the other zillions of handbag designers out there so I like to focus on the quality and detail of each piece. I want people to recognize someone carrying a Cha Cha because of the detail, not because of an in-your-face logo.
How often do you create pieces?
All the time, I experiment every week with new styles.
Have you ever considered collaborating with other accessory designers? If so, who?
I collaborated with a graffiti artist named Duro. He is a great artist and helped me with some prints. I would love to collaborate with other artists in the future to come up with a line great of graphic handbags featuring all kinds of artists.
Where can we find your designs?
Right now Cha Cha is available at Nathalie-Roze and Co. on Queen Street East, The Velvet Room Boutique in Vancouver (opening in October) and online at chacha2.etsy.com. If you are in the Toronto area, you can stop by my work space for my studio sale on September 29th at 358 Dufferin Street, Suite 101 between 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
What celeb do you think has the greatest style?
Don't think I have a favourite. I think Gwen Stefani, Dita Von Teese, Halle Berry, Chloe Sevigny, Kelis, all have great personal style. Really, any woman that dresses with confidence looks beautiful to me.
I know that food is your other passion, what do you enjoy making?
I really love making Mexican food, seafood pasta and anything involving lots of vegetables. I have been trying my best to create a great Indian dish but I think I have to leave that one to the masters, I just can’t get the spices right. ¤ Michelle