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Daily Inspiration: Meet Tyler Ellis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tyler Ellis.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I was born and raised in the Pacific Palisades. My father was the legendary fashion designer Perry Ellis and my mom, Barbara Gallagher, was an NBC executive and one of the original producers of Saturday Night Live. The plan was for me to live in L.A. for the school year and travel abroad with my father in the summers. However, things changed when my father tragically passed away in May 1986 of complications from AIDS. I was only 18 months old at the time, so I have no personal memories of him, but after researching his life and hearing personal stories from my mom and his peers, I see so many similarities between us. He was a very private man who took his career extremely seriously, dreaming big and striving for nothing but the best. Yet what he loved most was spending time with close friends and family, sharing funny stories over delicious food and fine wine…enjoying life. Unique points of view I find innate in me.

After graduating Boston University with a degree in communications, I moved to New York City, where I began to connect with the fashion community that had embraced my father so many years before. I was fortunate to meet Michael Kors and ended up interning directly with him and his team. They were so down to earth—a sentiment that, prior to this experience, I didn’t think existed in fashion. Eventually, the pull of my design DNA proved too difficult to resist, and I decided to launch my own handbag line in 2011. I have always been an accessories girl, but what really pushed me into the handbag world was traveling, I kept noticing that women all over the world, from London to Tokyo, were carrying the same luxury brands. So, I chose to embark on designing a seasonless line of handbags with the same quality as the large houses but with the charm of a boutique brand. With that mission in mind, I set out to design a truly original and luxurious collection of handbags, purses, totes and clutches. The bags were first handcrafted in Paris, France, and today, Le Sieci, Italy, where I continue to source the finest leathers and rarest exotics. Initially, I labeled the line “Tyler Alexandra” (my first two names). Reflecting back, starting the company was a life-altering event, I was leaping into an entirely new world about to be critiqued by an industry that my father had mastered.

Candidly, I felt I needed to earn my last name, not just use it. In 2017, after five years of perfecting my designs and developing an incredible partnership with my Italian factory, I took the next step – launching my first collection, ‘Palm Springs’, under the “Tyler Ellis” label. I finally felt ready to embrace my last name in the fashion world. My father was an extraordinary American fashion icon, and he always will be—but that doesn’t mean that I can’t create my own Ellis legacy. I live with my husband Ben and our puppies in Brentwood, Los Angeles. I am also passionate about continuing education and am an Executive Board member of Learning Lab Ventures, an organization focused on transforming the lives of children living in Los Angeles and disrupting generational poverty through intensive after-school education and enrichment programming. I am also a founding member of the InStyle Fashion Trust, a charitable initiative that provides business support to U.S. based designers through financial grants and strategic mentoring.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I chose luxury as my focus because it’s what I love and believe in, but it is challenging to be an independently owned brand in an industry dominated by a handful of powerful fashion conglomerates. Large fashion houses have endless funds for advertising budgets, editorial features, product placement, etc. giving them prime access to fashions most coveted publications and retail outlets. As an independent brand, I must work harder and smarter to gain exposure to and build connections with key clientele. My goal is not to be the next trend, it’s to establish my roots in the luxury world, grow slowly, continue to gain industry trust and respect while building my Ellis legacy.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Luxury items are pieces you lust after – extremely rare, lavish, perfectly crafted designs, a concept I strive to bring back to life. My products are all handmade at a multi-generational factory in Le Sieci, Italy by highly trained native artisans. I am a woman designing for women, so I work hard to create bags that are both aesthetically pleasing and innately functional. You will not find my logo on the exteriors of my products because I believe the unique silhouettes, impeccable craftsmanship, elevated materials, and customized hardware speak for themselves. Of course, my creations do have intimate, thoughtfully crafted, brand defining DNA. All interiors are lined in my signature Thayer Blue, named after a street in Los Angeles, where I spent my early childhood years. The Pinecone, which has become the symbolic image behind my brand can be found as my zipper pulls and feet, clasp closures and on tops of key chains and tassels.

The Pinecone represents the highest form of spiritual awakening and your third eye, dating back to ancient Egypt, where it was prominent on the tops of powerful Pharaohs’ staffs. The importance of quality service is another key factor in the elite world of luxury that today, few brands are investing in. I am extremely proud of Bespoke by Tyler Ellis, a highly curated experience that connects you directly with a member of our dedicated concierge team to customize the decorative aspects of your bag including the skin/material, hardware, embroidery and/or engraving. Our devoted team will work with our exclusive network of top Italian and French tanneries to find the exact color or shade you’ve been dreaming of. Straps and chains will be cut to your precise measurements and your personalized handbag will be delivered to you within a matter of weeks. When you purchase a Tyler Ellis product, you are returning to the purest form of luxury.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
CO-VID has given me a new perspective on the world. It has forced me to think differently and come up with outside the box ways to continue to grow my company. Websites and social media have become global storefronts, making content extremely important. Finding strategic partnerships to expand the brand’s footprint is also top of my mind. This has been a very tough time for the entire world, and I am very grateful that I have been able to keep all employees and contractors fully employed during the pandemic. As mentioned, my factory is in Italy, a country that was hit incredibly hard by CO-VID, I am so thankful that no one was hurt or became ill. I pray the end is near and the world can begin to heal and move forward safely.

Pricing:

  • Lee Pouchet in Chartreuse Satin $1200
  • Lily Clutch in Golden Leopard Patent Leather $2650
  • LJ Miami handbag in Fluorescent Pink Patent Leather with Clear PVC $2750
  • Grace Pouch Petite in Chartreuse Satin $1600
  • Jamie Miami Doctor in Citrine Patent Leather with Clear PVC $3800

Contact Info:

  • Email: contact@tylerellis.com
  • Website: www.tylerellis.com
  • Instagram: @tylerellisofficial


Image Credits:

Tyler Ellis

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