Now this is a label to put on your fashion forward shopping-list. I find most wallets to be downright boring and, because of this, I'm not one to go ga-ga over them. However, all of this changed when I was introduced to the Canadian brand ESPE. At last, ESPE provides a solution for fun, charming, unique, and fashionable wallets. Give your personality a twist with these playfully girly wallets.
Cuteness is their aim and affordability is their game. These products are incredibly reasonably priced. The purses range from $45-$60, wallets range from $22-$28, and silver jewelry ranges from $20-$200. ESPE products are retailed at Storm on Queen, Whimsical House on Bayview Avenue, and Propaganda on Yonge.
I had a chance to ask owner and Chief Creative Manager of ESPE, Eva Fung a few questions about their line. Check it out below.
1. Where is the ESPE company based?
Richmond Hill, Ontario
2. How did you come up with your design name?
Easy enough, I just took the first initials of myself and my staff team (E-Eva, S-Shelly, P-Pia, E-Elita) all of whom helped formulate the brand. ESPE is easy to read and remember.
3. How did you get your start in the fashion industry?
I was a Professional Engineer by trade with great appreciation for art, fashion and classical music. 13 years ago I started the distribution of a British fashion watch brand called STORM. Having set my foot in the fashion accessories industry, I felt that I had accumulated the experience and acquired the distribution channel to create an accessory brand that is funky, colorful, detail-oriented and affordable but without giving in on quality. That was 2 years ago!
4. What details make your designs distinctly yours?
Our philosophy is all about up-to-the-second style, ultimate function, impeccable quality, and of course, maximum affordability! Our 100% cruelty-free products are ESPE-cially important to us.
Customers love the signature velvety lining of our purses and wallets. Our purses always come with an ESPE dust bag for storage while our wallets are complete with a colorful gift box embellished with our season's theme design.
5. How would you describe your summer collection?
The new collection focuses on bringing versatile designs that you can mix and match anytime and anywhere. This season, ESPE revolves around both simplistic and colorful designs.
6. What are the key materials in this collection (S/S 06)?
We use high quality synthetic leather as it feels like real leather, cruelty-free and is priced reasonably. Synthetic leather can be cut easily to create shapes and patches. It can also be dyed the season's hottest colors and is very flexible. This is crucial in creating the trendy and colorful bags of ESPE and offering our customers the best of value and quality.
7. Where in Toronto can folks find your stuff?
Check out our Store Locator at ESPE. Our products are carried by fine boutiques across Canada and the US too!
8. What are your goals with this line and for the future?
I'd like to have a more diversified product range such as life style products as more and more people find refuge staying home. I believe that our design concepts in fashion accessories can be applied to other products to create ground-breaking products.
9. Why do you love designing?
I love sketching and graphics design. When combined together, they become a great tool for designing fashion accessories.
10. What advice do you have for designers who are just starting out in the industry?
Have a vision and believe in yourself but also be market sensitive and realistic in setting your goals. I believe that quality, style and price point must strike a balance to capture the audience.
12. Anything else you want to share with our readers?
We treasure opinions and ideas from our end users. This is how we can design and develop products that real people are looking for - not just products that we like. Let us know what you like or dislike about our products; as well as what you want to see in the future. Afterall, our customers are the ones that drive the fashion industry.
Also important is to develop products that are 100% cruelty free. As a dog owner, I am strongly against animal cruelty and believe that it's our "corporate responsibility" to design and market animal friendly products. Why not? When we can use quality synthetic leather that has every characteristics of leather but at a fraction of the cost and without hurting any animals!
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