If you’re looking for a clutch that the entire universe hasn’t already exploited — one that’s bizarre, clashes in the best way to un-fuss your outfits, is eye catching, conversation starting and won’t require that you to save up lunch money for two months, I think you should meet Poppy Lissiman. She’s 26, “made in Japan, born in Australia,” has a trippy Instagram and currently resides in Perth.
When did you start the line?
I started my own label in 2008 but I started doing exclusively accessories (in particular, clutches) at the beginning of 2014
I have always been obsessed with handbags. Almost any paycheck I’d get would go towards (usually designer) handbags. I never really dreamed of designing my own bags until I started to realize that not everyone was obsessed with luxury bags, and that maybe lesser known, quirky designs could work.
The clutches were kind of a whim to sell as an item in my old shop for under $100, and have since taken off. I think there is a bit of a gap in the market for quirky designer pieces under $100. I’m working on some over the shoulder bags at the moment, which should be done in time for Christmas.
Where do you get all of your ideas — the eyes, the “pizza illuminati,” etc — from?
I’m really drawn to iconography, like sacred hearts and worshipping hands and the Greek evil eye. (I have a sacred heart/evil eye tattoo I got on my arm in Koh Samui about 6 years ago). I’m not religious, but I’ve always been drawn to those recognizable motifs; I guess I just like the way they look cut out in glitter material and stitched onto a clutch.
A lot of people on Instagram accuse me of being illuminati because of the eye motif. I’m obviously not but I think it’s kind of funny to roll with that, especially with the pizza illuminati bag. All I really know about the illuminati is that they were all about empowering women and against the control of organized religion, which I think isn’t such a bad thing… and pizza is pretty awesome too.
And the glitter?
I’m a bit of a Bowerbird for shiny and glittery things. When I first saw this glitter material I was wary it would tarnish easily, so we experimented with it a bit and it’s actually incredibly durable. It doesn’t loose its glitter so I’ve continued to use it — it just looks so beautiful, especially mixed with the high shine metallic material we also use. All my clutches are made using vegan (or faux leather if we’re talking like it’s 2011). They’re also cruelty free, so no animal bits or slave labor.
How would you describe your own style, and who are some of your style inspirations?
My style definitely revolves around color and comfort. I hate really restrictive or uncomfortable pieces, I rarely wear high heels. I don’t look to anyone in particular for inspiration, but I travel to Asia a lot and I would say the fashion there has really influenced my style.
Does living in Australia affect your aesthetic?
Yes, definitely. In Perth the fashion is pretty casual, not bad or anything though — a lot of people here have really great style but getting very dressed up is something of a rarity. On weekends most people get around in jeans and t-shirts, and in summer it’s all about cute little dresses and thongs (I think you guys call them flip flops?). The heat plays a huge part in getting dressed in the morning. Although I probably adhere to that casual approach, I tend to gravitate towards really bright/clashing stuff or slightly different silhouettes, and I hate thongs (flip flops) so I will probably wear neon Reef sandals with socks this year…
What else are you influenced by, design-wise?
Art. Without sounding too vague, haha… I really like digital art and taught myself how to use Photoshop about 2 years ago.
Who’s the girl/guy your design for?
Someone who likes color, who appreciates things which are a little bit left of center and has a sense of humor.
I have been working on a sunglasses collection for the last 9 months (wow, just realized thats the same amount of time as a baby!) and will be launching the range next month which I am just so pumped about.
What’s the strangest thing you’d put inside a clutch?
I do collect bones and skulls.. not that long ago I found a Quokka (google them, they’re adorable) jaw bone and popped that in my bag. It was in perfect condition and I wore it round my neck for a while!
Last but not least, what’s a weird fact about you?
I have a knack for remembering totally useless but interesting facts; for example, did you know that in the nursery rhyme “Humpty Dumpty” it’s never actually mentioned that he was an egg?
Clutches available at PoppyLissiman.com