IN Interviews : VereVerto
From meeting at a friends dinner party in Los Angeles, to becoming instant friends, and eventually starting a thriving accessories brand named VereVerto, Paige Smith and Consuelo Chozas's partnership is pure kismet.
VereVerto, founded and based in Los Angeles in 2013, blends luxury with functionality for women on-the-go, and fashion with modern day practicality. Their accessories are not only convertible and fitting for any occasion, they're designed to live as essentials in any wardrobe. By utilizing vegetable tanning without chromium, each piece has a rich patina that ages gracefully over time.
Read the full, in-depth interview with VereVerto as we chat about the challenges of maintaining a modern business, their travel wishes, artist and creators who inspire them, Paige's 80 pound purchase of cocoa butter, and the story behind their hottest item, the Deco Belt Bag.
How did the name VereVerto come about?
P: We brainstormed hundreds of ideas and a thought that stuck with us was using Latin. It’s the root of many languages and felt like a basic form that many people could pronounce around the world. The words Vere and Verto loosely translate to, “truly change” or “revert to”, which is a subtle nod to the convertibility of that bags. We didn’t want to be too on the nose about it.
"The words Vere and Verto loosely translate to, 'truly change' or 'revert to', which is a subtle nod to the convertibility of that bags."
What's the one topic you both could spend hours talking about?
C: Traveling, art, and aspirations.
Consuelo: How did you come to know so much about leather?
C: I used to own a store in Manhattan Beach, and during that time we had our own line of leather jackets. I am from Argentina and at the time I was working with Argentinian leather and manufacturers which taught me a lot about the business and importing/exporting. Previously, I lived in Madrid for a few years and learned quite a bit about the local artisans of Spain which is what directed our busines for VereVerto these many years later.
Paige: What were some challenges faced from bike riding in San Francisco which you solved for through the bag designs?
P: When I was riding a bike in San Francisco I was always challenged to find a stylish bag that I might want to be seen with during meetings at work or after work drinks. Every fashionable bag I tried was falling around my body or creating terrible knots in my shoulders—I eventually resorted to wearing a proper biking backpack which is limiting if I was hoping to express myself some days.
I really tried to tackle “travel” in general—whether you are biking, walking long distances, or hopping from airport to airport. A lot of the bags create a hands-free situation that takes the weight off one shoulder and distributes it, or off your shoulders completely to your waist. It’s about convenience, efficiency, and usability in situations the modern woman finds herself in.
With the fashion world placing so much emphasis on modern-day essentials, how does VereVerto work to keep things fresh?
C: We often are using classic designs of bags and adding our own twist to them. They are meant to be in the contemporary market, but also really feel like they compliment your lifestyle rather than limit it to certain days.
How did the concept of the Deco Belt Bag happen?
P: We had been working with Sissy Sainte-Marie for a couple seaons on creating our lookbooks and we really love everything she brings to the table. We noticed right away her willingness to create new ideas and ways to wear accessories, so we approached her to do a collaboration. She was very excited and came to us with so many ideas that were perfect for us. We settled on the Belt Bag idea because it was so original and very in line with VereVerto’s hands free mantra.
How does it feel to see people like music artist Solange Knowles wearing VereVerto?
C: Seeing people like Solange wear our bag feels incredible. Particularly Solange, who is an artist we admire with style we covet. Having her wear our bag, while accepting the [Billboard] Impact Award meant something to us.
How much time would you say VereVerto spends on social media and how much of a role does social media play in your day-to-day work?
C: We really concentrate our efforts on Instagram and try to post at least once a day. For the moment it doesn’t take over our lives too much, but we sort of have plans to change that. We find it is a great way to engage our customers or potential customers—they can see the ways we style/use our product, as well as other people and stores and their interpretations. We have a wonderful community of designers here in LA and I feel we all help each other in that way as well.
As a business owner, what would you say are the most overlooked / toughest challages you face?
P: I think social media and marketing is something we find as one of our biggest challenges. As Consuelo meantioned, we do plan on upping our social media game, but also our marketing strategies. A lot of the issues with small businesses is spending money to make money, and everything feel like your walking on a tightrope in concerns to creating new materials all of the time.
Consuelo: You have an unlimited budget to purchase one gift for Paige, what do you get and why?
C: I’d buy Paige her own leather manufacturing, because then sampling would be limitless and creating endless.
Paige: If you could surprise Consuelo with a plane ticket to any place in the world, where would you send her and why?
P: I’d suprising her with a plane ticket to Japan. She loves to travel but her travels have never taken her to an Asian country and I think the fashion there would inspire her.
What artist, designers or creatives are inspiring your current creative process?
P: Olafur Eliasson, Richard Serra, Cy Twombly, Celine, The Row …
Favorite television show growing up?
P: Saved by the Bell
C: Salute Your Shorts
Weirdest food combination(s) you enjoy?
P: Beet on pizza
C: Peanut butter on burger
Most ridiculous thing you ever purchased?
P: 80 lbs of cocoa butter
C: A dolphin ride
Favorite VereVerto item?
One song you both know the words to?
P & C: The Colors of the Wind, Pocahontas via Disney
One person, thing, or font in which you're completely Infashuated?
P: DIN font, it works for everything
C: Creative Director, Patricia Gutierrez Monllor aka maggieontherocks.