By Bianca Gracie
Did you have your eye on those colorful handbags from Friday night’s Silence & Noise fashion show? Well, meet Northeastern alum Angela Lee, one-half of the Angela & Roi handbag company! The Boston-based couple founded their company in June 2012, which provides classic totes and cross-body bags that help out with some great causes. Their Donate By Color mission gives back to various organizations like the Lung Cancer Alliance and Melanoma Research Foundation, all based on the handbag color a customer chooses.
Haute Fashion: What inspired you to start your own company?
Angela: I was always interested in fashion, but I wasn’t able to start the brand myself since I didn’t know much about the business management part. I was looking for a business partner, and I met Roi! He’s my boyfriend.
HF: How do you maintain your personal relationship with your partner while balancing your joint company?
A: There are so many challenges! We do fight but it never gets in the way of our professional business.
HF: What handbag would you say best represents your personality?
A: The Square Tote in dark orange. It’s very classy but edgy; that’s mainly my style.
HF: Your bags are only crafted out of vegan leather. Why drew you to make that design decision?
A: We’re animal friendly. Roi and I decided to use vegan leather so that we can show our love for animals.
HF: Philanthropy plays a large role in your company. How important was that for you?
A: As I was always interested in fashion, I was also interested in helping others. That’s how I grew up. We spend money, so why not help other people and donate a portion of the sales?
HF: How would you like to see Angela & Roi grow?
A: Helping more people, donating more. I also want to have more partnerships. Yes, we love fashion but philanthropy plays a big part in our company.
HF: There are many student designers showcased in the Silence & Noise show, is there a community among young Boston designers?
A: I don’t think it’s a competition, I think we’re just individuals who are working towards our dreams. We can help each other with collaborations and make each other grow as designers.
HF: You founded the company independently. Do you have any advice for people looking to start their own brand?
A: Just do what you like to do and don’t give up! Just continue and you will find out great things that you didn’t expect to happen.