Three days out of the slammer and Lindsay Lohan’s already rolling out the next iteration of her career: handbag designer. Yesterday afternoon, Lohan’s clothing line, 6126 (short for Marilyn Monroe’s birthday), previewed a line of purses that will appear in department stores at the end of October.
On the 12th floor of a huge garment warehouse in Chelsea, there were the goods: pink leather, shimmering leopard skin, sequins, glittery pleather, and rivets, chains and studs of all metals. Richard Luna, the head of The California Bag and Lohan’s partner, sat down with The Daily Beast to talk about the bags and the business with Lohan.
The company doesn’t expect Lohan’s recent legal trouble (or her disastrous collaboration with Ungaro) to hurt business, and Luna said she will help promote the bags, though she didn’t make herself available to comment for this article.
Richard Luna, Lohan’s partner, went over every bag in the showroom, one by one—a parade of sparkly receptacles named for famous pinups, starlets, actresses, and Vegas icons.
“Lindsay attended the Bloomingdale’s buyer preview, and they are going to carry the bags, so it obviously didn’t matter to them. This is not a situation of a celebrity lending a name to a company. She’s very involved with every aspect of designing the bags,” said Luna, who declined to name other potential retailers, as the bags are only in the preview stages, with no confirmations of carriers. Luna went over every bag in the showroom, one by one—a parade of sparkly receptacles named for famous pinups, starlets, actresses, and Vegas icons.
“Lindsay loves to take inspiration from films,” said Luna, holding up a bubble-gummy bag called the Tempest, leaving open a question of literary allusion (at $450, it is priced in the mid-range of the 6126 line). “She looooves Ann-Margret in Kitten With a Whip, which is where she came up with this line.”
Lohan’s variation, in that sort of “y”-whimsy popular among strippers, is “Kittyn With a Whip.” The whips are metal-tipped tassels dangling from the bags’ corseted sides; the kittyn, one presumes, is you. Meow.
"Starlette,” another set in the collection and “discreetly” lined in sequins, “sort of comes from Marilyn in All About Eve. Mitzi Gaynor, too, impacted Lindsay’s designs,” said Luna, adding, “Mitzi is a friend of mine.”
Next up, a black embossed-snakeskin clutch—“throw in your BlackBerry, lip gloss, and a pack of cigarettes, and off you go,” said Luna, following with pieces from Lindsay’s favorite line in the collection: the “Glam-a Go-Go” bags. The publicist monitoring our conversation chimed in, “These bags just say Lindsay.” Indeed, the Glam-a Go-Gos, inspired by the Sunset Strip in the 1960s, do conjure up a particular kind of party girl, with their long cross-body metallic straps, multi-metallic fringe, and disco-friendly size. One of the young women threw on one of the tinier purses to demonstrate that it stays close to the body while dancing.
“Lindsay really takes design seriously,” Luna said. “She tries on all the bags, and she cares a lot about weight, size, straps—everything.” The team even consults a fashion engineer.
“Bags are like buildings—it’s all about the architecture,” explained Luna. Lohan, then, is the contractor. According to Luna, the bags begin as ideas he and Lindsay come up with at her house (where he says he's met Ali Lohan a couple times, but never Dina. “She lives in New York.”). At home, Lohan can easily run to her closet to reference her vast collection of designer pieces, as Luna put it: “She’ll remember a stud on a bag she loves that’s a one-off from some famous designer, but her hair gets caught in the hardware, or the straps fall off easily, or something,” so she doesn’t make the same mistakes with her own designs.
How did handbags follow leggings, the first fashion article Lohan designed (which Luna and his company had no part in)? “Handbags are the natural progression. Every designer makes them, and every woman uses them. Doesn’t matter what your height, age, or weight is,” said Luna.
Winding the preview up, Luna showed off some of the bags from Lohan’s “diffusion collection,” dubbed 7286—a reference to her own birthday. These bags, in synthetic materials, are priced at less than $170, and targeted toward the 13- to-20-year-old set and will be carried in department stores like Dillard’s, which will debut the line.
The embellished cardboard fob that hangs off all the bags in the 7286 collection, according to Luna, is taken directly from words inked on Lohan’s wrist: “I just read it and loved it, so we put it on the tags.”
“Stars,” reads the tattoo, which echoes a Marilyn Monroe quote, “all we ask for is our right to twinkle.”
“It describes how delightful Lindsay is,” said Luna.
Claire Howorth is the Arts editor at The Daily Beast.