By Madison Alworth
Barbara Bradley Baekgaard changed the face of women's bags with her iconic line of quilted accessories, Vera Bradley ー and now, she's hoping to stage a similar style revolution in menswear with a new brand.
"Now it's time for something for our men," Baekgaard said Monday in an interview on Cheddar. "Because Vera Bradley did not ever intend, nor do we intend, to do products for men."
Baekgaard's new menswear brand, Baekgaard USA, was named for her late husband, a Dane who started importing goods in 1954 from his home country.
After her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, the pair decided to put his company on hold and focus on publicly traded Vera Bradley ($VRA). Now Baekgaard has stepped back from her roles as co-president and chief creative officer and only serves on the Board of Directors, freeing her up for the new venture.
For inspiration, Baekgaard turns to the men in her life to test new products and ideas.
"I use my family as a focus-study, so I ask my grandsons."
But ultimately, she relies on her own instincts. "I also ask myself when I design something, 'Who would I give this to? Who do I want carrying this.' And I want to design something for everyone. And I think we nailed it."
Primarily, she "was tired of looking for something to buy for men."
"I think men are more fashionable now. This is just a perfect time," she added.
For full interview click here.