Designers We Love: Alex Bell & Shira Entis of Fleabags

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Check out Fleabags in our Loop de Luxe Boutique! 

Shira Entis and Alex Bell are the creators of Fleabags, a Brooklyn-based, USA-made line, inspired by the duo's ideal flea marketing bag.  Their line includes a wide range of timeless, utilitarian bags and leather accessories, all made locally and sourced with a combination of organic, vintage and post-production materials and leathers.  Fleabag designs have been featured in Japanese Vogue, Elle, Garden & Gun, and The New York Times.  When Shira and Alex aren’t in their Brooklyn studio, they can be found frequenting flea markets across the country.
Hometown: Alex: Kansas City    Shira: Boston

Who are your style icons?
Young Brigitte Bardot, Iris Apfel

Is there someone for whom you’d love to design?
Michelle Obama, Jenna Lyons

What makes a piece of jewelry/clothing perfect?
Anything that makes you feel good.  Generally-speaking, we look for well-made clothing and accessories made from quality materials. So much of what exists today is disposable, so we look for pieces with longevity.
A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself before purchasing:  will this item have good resale value in 5 years?

Walk us through your design process.
It often starts with a flea market find- perhaps an interesting detail or color combination strikes our fancy. From there we discuss shapes, styles and uses. We zoom in on the style and construction details first and the last (and most time-consuming) step is usually deciding color.

What inspires your design?
Most importantly, we start with simple shapes that will continue to look great as they age.
Previous collections have been inspired by the Ports of Baltimore, a ride on the vintage Siberian Railway, and a photograph of large lumberjack wearing a striped blanket coat.  We also take inspiration trips when we can find the time, but sometimes that means going no farther than Staten Island.

Tell us how Fleabags began.
We originally wanted to design a bag that would be perfect for our Flea marketing trips- a sturdy, classic and well-built women’s tool bag. Since we launched Fleabags in 2009 at the height of the recession, one of our most important goals was to offer customers quality-made goods that were produced locally in the United States.

Best gift you've recently given?
S: I designed and made my brother a custom leather travel-bag for his birthday, and stamped a personal message on the inside label. He texts me photos of the bag wherever he takes it.

Best gift you've received?
A: Shira gave me a beautiful pair of sapphire and opal earrings - she has been taking jewelry classes this year and had the stones custom set, and I love them!  Shira is an amazing gifter!

Favorite neighborhood shops?
Women’s clothing and accessories: Joinery
Cool knick knacks and guys stuff : Hickorees Hard Goods
We are obsessed with Brooklyn Kitchen, which is dangerously close to our office.
Bar with a great backyard and cute nautical decor: The Drink
Cafe (especially in the winter, working fire place): House of Small Wonder

Which design/ fashion websites do you visit daily?
A Piece of Toast
The Food Life 
Style Bubble
Isabelle OC
Things Organized Neatly (keeps us motivated to keep a clean office!)
Downtown From Behind

Love what you see? Don't miss our favorite Fleabags in the Loop de Luxe Boutique! 

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