Each Wendy Lau purse is meticulously made
At its best, a handbag is functional and stylish.
For designer Wendy Lau, it’s also a work of art.
Each of her purses for Edidi is handmade. From crystals and semiprecious stones such as jade, garnet and aquamarine spring forth color, texture and pattern. About 2,000 diamond shaped Swarovski crystals, each glued by hand, adorn each bag. The semiprecious stones are wired. The bags are plated in 24 karat gold or platinum. Natural vegetable or fruit dyes bring color to the raw silk lining imported from France.
Such attention to detail doesn’t roll off the production line quickly. A bag takes about 10 days from start to finish and goes through 12 hand worked procedures by master craftsmen and specialized technicians.
“We’re concerned about quality, and we knew if we were too particular our market range will be smaller, but we’d rather do it that way,” said Lau, who with her husband owns the New York City based company.
A collection of Edidi bags will be on display and for sale Nov. 8 at a luncheon at Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club. The event will benefit the Cardiac Arrhythmia Research Institute at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Edidi was established five years ago, but it took two years for the first bag to hit the market.
“We believe that foundation is very important . so we take about two years to train technicians and to form the factory before we have the collection,” Lau said. “We train and set up the factory first.”
Lau was born in Hong Kong and came to the United States when she was in elementary school. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, then returned to Hong Kong as an international fashion buyer for 15 years. When she married and had children, the family moved to the United States.
Because of her background,
she and her husband considered opening a ready to wear clothing factory, but they preferred a smaller operation that they could oversee personally.
The company name, Edidi, is a combination of her husband’s and son’s names.
“We played around with the letters and came up with this word,” Lau said.
Another tidbit is that the bags are named after well known streets and chic locales. They include Wisteria Lane, Park Avenue, Sunset Boulevard, Champs Elysees and Fifth Avenue.
The street concept is Lau’s way of saying these evening bags have cosmopolitan appeal. She introduces three collections a year, each with about 40 45 new designs.
The mood for each collection is different. For fall, there’s a feeling of luxury. Spring is happy and carefree, while holiday is more sophisticated.
With prices that range $1,600 $5,000, her bags are high end, more akin to couture than ready to wear. They’re sold at Saks and Stanley Korshak as well as fine jewelry stores and galleries.
Already, women are looking at the bags as collectibles. Who wouldn’t want to own a Wisteria Lane or a Piccadilly? Custom orders for an Edidi special are becoming more common,