Fashion startup, Lo Progeny has launched a luxury handbag collection in Canada
Lo Progeny is a fashion startup that prides itself on fostering a community ethos whilst introducing a more thoughtful approach to luxury fashion and bag manufacturing.
Founders, Demi and Iris Lo created their fashion accessory business with the view to bringing well-made, luxury designer handbags to women that have been inspired by the wearers themselves.
Demi and Iris are known to take care to spend time listening to and considering their customers wishes. Their fashion startup also work closely with bag manufacturers in China where they believe the most talented accessory craftsman and skilled leather workers exist.
Today, a boutique factory in China produces quality luxury designer bags which are becoming favorites in the Canadian fashion marketplace. The team based there liaise closely with suppliers and the Lo Progeny enterprise back home in Vancouver.
Lo Progeny was launched in 2016 and has since released three unique luxury handbag lines. Each designer handbag is made from combinations of different leathers and features durable, gunmetal custom hardware.
Here, Demi and Iris Lo tell Nativa World their fashion startup and why collaboration has been key to the success of their business…
What’s the Lo Progeny story?
Lo Progeny was built on a need to explore a “community approach” to fashion. Fashion has always been regarded as the language for individual expression. We found that for a long time, fashion was mostly dictated by designers or celebrities, while consumers often bend themselves to achieve a certain image to “fit in”. We know though, that fashion is never a lone venture. They say ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, but it takes a world of designers, pattern makers, technical designers, seamstresses, stylists, media, bag manufacturers and consumers from all across the globe to create fashion.
What are your backgrounds?
Growing up in our mother’s factory, we understand that luxury isn’t defined by a brand label, a place of origin or a pleasing design. Real quality is in the make – raw materials and construction are essential to the feel, fit and longevity of a product. There are so many unsung heroes of the fashion industry and we want to shine a light on them.
Who is responsible for which part of your fashion startup?
Demi always been the creative one, so takes care of most of the design, bag manufacturing, as well as branding and marketing. Since she was in public relations for a number of years and also worked at a factory, so she’s really best position to run these areas. Iris is the strategic business mind, so she takes care of the business strategy, finances, logistics, as well as the merchandising for Lo Progeny. Prior to Lo Progeny, Iris was a consultant in the mergers and acquisition field focused on advising companies purchasing retail brands. She brings with her valuable corporate and finance experiences and insight to Lo Progeny.
How do you work well together?
It amazes people how well we work together. People always tell us, “How can you work with your family? I can never do that!” We’ve always been super close. We’re those sisters that literally finish each other sentences and have endless conversation even if we see each other every day! We definitely have disagreements but being so in sync with each other also means that we can resolve those pretty quickly. It’s working with someone who knows all the shorthand to your brain already, definitely a trusting and effective partnership.
What’s the vision?
Our vision is really to build a community of consumers and bag manufacturers to bring to life fun, creative designs inspired by the people who wear our handbags. We want to merge thoughtful excellent construction, and elevate them with first-class raw materials. To us, the magic is in the collaboration.
What’s behind your fashion startup’s brand name?
Lo Progeny means “descendants, offspring, or children of the Lo’s”. In the beginning, we searched up and down, and made up words trying to find a good brand name. Finally, after throwing out probably over 60 suggestions, we stopped considering what makes a “good” brand name and instead, looked at what truly reflects who we are, and where our roots are. Our love for fashion was planted very early on, and since we were small children, our parents had constantly educated us about fashion. Our mother runs a small garment factory in Vancouver and our father started his career in textile merchandising. They’re the reason we are passionate for this industry, and they are the reason we decided to start our own brand. This is why we are named “Lo Progeny”. Our brand name pays homage to our parents. We view Lo Progeny as an extension of our family business and in a way, our inheritance from our parents.
What’s the bag manufacturing process?
All our bags are made with luxurious, quality Italian lambskin or calfskin. The key though, is the treatment of this premium raw material. We are fortunate to work with a bag manufacturer that has dedicated craftsmen who have the skills and know-how to bring our designs to life. Customers appreciate attention to detail and quality we have devoted into our products. Looking at our quality relative to price, we’re trying to hit and expand a niche in the market, as higher quality handbags more often than not, come with an ultra-luxury price tag in today’s industry.
Which is your most popular handbag?
Our most popular handbag is the Accordion. We think the timeless shape of this structured bag really appeals to young professional women. It’s a great day-to-evening bag at a good size.
What makes your bags unique?
The quality of material we have chosen and the mix-and-match style and color-texture combinations we offer. We have gotten a lot of love for our navy and brown two-tone bags. Many people have asked us create more two-tone combos. The black lambskin and nubuck mix has received great feedback.Customers are asking us for this combination in lighter colors.
How would a Lo Progeny bag benefit the female business traveler?
Both of us are quite the travel bugs. Whether it’s for business or for pleasure, a good handbag is always the trusty sidekick on any trip. Designing a handbag fit for the job has always been a priority for us. Many details of our bags were thoughtfully designed specifically to make traveling easier. We considered the need to protect electronic devices and make them easy to reach, having a safe place to put documents, being able to swap straps – which saves travelers taking multiple bags – and designing a special, non-slip strap for added comfort.
Photography courtesy of Lo Progeny