We genuinely get excited every time we stumble across a new brand, and Jeunesse Designs is no exception. Co-founded by two cousins, Diem and Lisa, in their hometown of Sydney, Australia, these two mothers are creating high quality accessories for fashion forward youths. We chatted to Diem about their new collection of practical, versatile bags and the inspiration behind their brand.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your new brand?
We are mothers and aunts to a whole lot of kids! We have always been close, more like sisters then cousins. We grew up on 80’s and 90’s fashion. We have always loved fashion, but could never have everything we wanted as kids. Our mothers used to sew our clothes, whatever was fashionable at the time – they were very skilful seamstresses. Now that we’ve grown up, with a passion for fashion but not quite as skilful as our amazing mums, we decided we wanted to do something for the next generation.
Hence our name, Jeunesse Designs. Jeunesse is French for ‘youth’.
Our first product inspiration came about when Lisa and I learnt it was a difficult task to find the right bags for kids. Kids wanted stylish and practical bags, while we looked for quality in the bags that were similar to what we would find for ourselves. So that was when we decided to create Jeunesse Designs. We wanted to cater for those who wanted the luxe feel and look, without the luxury brand price tag.
What age group are your products aimed at and why?
Our products are aimed at the 6-16 year old age group and of course anyone young at heart. We found there was a lack of premium products available for this age group. Generally, premium accessories are aimed at adults and not designed with the youth in mind. So, we wanted to fill this gap and provide an alternative to high end fashion, that not only had quality finishes, but also modern youthful touches and an added bit of fun.
What was the inspiration behind Jeunesse Designs?
The inspiration behind Jeunesse Designs comes from our own love of fashion and kids. When we are designing our products, we are inspired by the kids in our family and design products with them in mind. We want our products to be innovative, fashionable and allow each individual child to show case their personality. They remind us on a daily basis that they are not the same. Some are shy, some like to be loud, while others like to be different. It’s important to us that they know they can just be themselves, even when it comes to fashion. I always tell my kids that they are a “Limited Edition”.
What can we expect to see from your first collection?
We’re really excited about our first collection, which is called Premier Collection. We wanted a sleek collection that was fun and innovative. In continuing with the theme of our French inspired name, Premier is French for first. The Premier Collection will include our ‘On My Way’ backpack and a variety of our body pouches.
What’s new and different about this first collection?
The body pouches are interchangeable with our ‘On My Way’ backpack. We’re really happy with our product design and have not seen anything else like it on the market.
Our mums inspired us to create and embrace fashion. I remember in high school I always wanted a leather bag, so mum got me a beautiful leather-lookalike bag from the shops that I had been eyeing for months. Unfortunately, it started to peel and only lasted one school term. Fed-up and down $40, mum made me a messenger bag made from the leather scraps from our local upholsterer. I wore it for years! I learnt a lot from her, about fabric and materials, and why certain things cost more than others.
So, I have always had a love for leather. I love the feel and look of leather and know firsthand how it just lasts and lasts.
This is what we wanted for our brand. We wanted to be able to provide a material that was long lasting, which also looks and feels amazing.
One of our harder tasks was sourcing a leather supplier we were happy with. We had to make sure they fit in with what our brand stands for and was environmentally sustainable, which is especially close to our hearts. We did find one! Our supplier sources leather from Eastern Europe and have procedures in place that meet international environmental standards.
What’s your favourite piece from Premier Collection?
Definitely the ‘Stay Wild’ body pouch – it’s wild, fun, a little different, and unisex.
Tell us about the interchangeable pieces.
It’s all about innovation. The body pouches are our interchangeable pieces. It’s used on our ‘On My Way’ backpack to showcase individuality. It comes in different prints and colours, with more expected to be released in the coming months. The body pouches also come with a leather strap, so that the pouch can be used as a cross body bag. Additionally, it has belt loops that allow our customers to use it as a waist pouch using their own belts. It’s convenient to be hands free with no bulky pockets. We love how versatile it is, you can even use it as a clutch or even a pencil case! Just hang up your bag, unzip the pouch and bring it into class.
Where would you like to see the brand in 12 months from now?
We would love to see our brand and product on every kid, with different prints and patterns, that makes them feel happy and themselves. We hope to see our brand and products grow to allow us to keep designing and offer a larger range of products.
If you could sum your brand up in 3 words, what would they be?
Modern, versatile, luxurious
Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
We’ll be on the lookout for faces to join Jeunesse Elite 2018. Jeunesse Elite will be our team that will represent Jeunesse Designs and its products for the 2018 calendar year. We’re looking for fun and enthusiastic representatives that love our brand.
Thanks for chatting with us Diem. We love your Premier Collection and are super excited to watch you guys grow. We love the versatility of the ‘On My Way’ leather backpack and can’t wait to see what you come up with next!
Products are available directly from their website and yes they do offer worldwide shipping!