Riley Versa

Posted on Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Have you ever been stuck deciding between two handbags when packing for a fabulous vacation? Melissa Urfirer the founder of Riley Versa has! She created a genius bag with changeable covers so when traveling there is no need to panic on weight restrictions. The Versa bag which I carry, is the perfect size to fit the essentials. It is the ideal transition bag from day to night! Below is my interview with Melissa speaking on how she got her start with Riley Versa. 


-Chloé Akari

Where do you find your inspiration for each design of your bags? 
For the base bags, I really tried to concentrate on what women need – and want!  For the “Riley” bag, it was important to me to be able to fit a full size travel wallet in the bag. Part of the appeal of the bag is that you never have to transfer the contents of your bag to switch the style. You simply switch the cover and leave your belongings in place. So I wanted everything a woman might need for a night out to be able to fit in the purse. For the “Versa” bag, I wanted a sleek alternative where you could slip in a credit card and lip gloss and be done for the night. Inspiration for the design of the covers really comes from all over! Art, movies, fashion…really everywhere.

Where do you source your materials? 
America, Italy, Turkey, China…we have no bounds!   

Who is the Riley Versa woman/ your muse?
The Riley Versa woman is someone who is confident in her style and doesn’t want a huge logo printed across her bag. She likes to have fun with fashion and change her looks!

What is the Riley Versa aesthetic?
The Riley Versa aesthetic is clean, refined design for the base bags -- and an array of bold, fun, cutting edge styles for the covers! We are constantly coming out with new covers that tap into every possible aesthetic.  

How has your brand evolved?
We launched a little over two years ago with one style bag and three cover options.  Demand exceeded our wildest expectations which led us to launch a second style option and thirteen covers to choose from... and more on the way!

How did you come up with the genius idea of interchangeable skins? 
I came up with the idea when I was on vacation! I packed a bright bag for the weekend, and didn't realize until I arrived that it clashed with everything else I packed. My suitcase was already overstuffed (oops), so I couldn’t even have packed a second bag. I was talking to my husband (boyfriend at the time!) about the issue and how I wish I could just have one bag and change the covers, and the rest is history!   

Is there any exciting news or collections for Riley Versa we should be looking out for? 
Yes!  There has been a lot of exciting news lately. Riley Versa is now sold at Intermix, which I couldn’t be more thrilled about. We also recently collaborated with jewelry designer Stephanie Gottlieb and Riley Versa is now featured on her website. And we are doing a three-month pop up in South Hampton this summer with Random Acts of Creativity that I’m very excited about!

Check out their website and Instagram

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