Lana Condor is a self-professed “bag girl” and she finally gets to share that obsession with everyone.
Partnering with Vera Bradley in her debut fashion collaboration, the actor and producer most known for her role as Lara Jean Covey in Netflix’s To All the Boys trilogy (which we’re still watching on repeat) is not only helping to launch the lifestyle brand’s new recycled cotton collection, she also designed her very own backpack—which turned out to be a bit of fashion kismet.
“When this partnership came about, I was beyond thrilled because it felt very full circle to me in a way that doesn’t typically happen in life,” Condor tells Oprah Daily over Zoom.
Condor’s connection to the iconic brand took shape in her childhood when she coveted the quilted patterned satchels the women in her family toted around. Before going off to ballet camp as a tween, her mom bought her a Vera Bradley duffel to hold her dance gear and it became a pivotal moment in her personal style history.
“I remember feeling, oh my God, I became a woman!” recalls Condor. “It felt like a rite of passage to me. And I’ve carried that love with me ever since, because it’s just a beautiful memory and very sentimental to me—it reminds me of my mom, my family, and great memories.”
The limited-edition Lana Utility Backpack might be in versatile, goes-with-everything black, but it wouldn’t be Vera Bradley without a pop of color and hint of print. Condor wanted the blush trim and bold pink stripes on the underside to be a “surprise and fun” secret wink for the wearer. And it’s only fitting that the interior is lined in a pastel floral pattern called Ballet Blooms. Not only does it pay homage to her early days, it also serves a practical purpose.
“Another reason I wanted to put the bright pattern inside is because I find that with bags with dark lining, it’s very hard for me to find my stuff—it’s an endless black hole,” the 24-year-old explains as she shows off the interior of the bag. “I have one million things in my bag. I wanted it to be brighter so it would be easier to find my Chapstick or hand sanitizer. I’ve thought about everything! I wanted to create my dream bag that I’d wear every day.”
Beyond the contrast lining, the design offers pockets aplenty (the exterior side pockets are a nod to her boyfriend’s own backpack, which Condor has historically stuffed with her essentials), and thoughtful details such as chunky buckles and a drawstring closure.
But the cherry on top of the delightful sundae? The bag, as well as the rest of this particular collection, is constructed with 50% recycled cotton, putting the company on track to reach its goal of transitioning all of its fabrics to sustainable alternatives by 2025. (It also has the existing ReActive collection made with repurposed water bottles.) In addition, customers can pay it forward by recycling their own used Vera Bradley favorites—and all the bags they’ve loved before—in exchange for gift cards through a newly launched initiative with online consignment platform thredUP.
“It’s very exciting and I can’t wait for people to get their hands on these bags and realize that they’re shopping consciously,” Condor says. “It feels great, it performs great, it has the same structural integrity, and it means more.”
Feel good fashion, anyone?