You can tell a lot by the handbag a woman's carrying. Some lug around massive distressed-leather bohemian totes to hide everything from umbrellas, a shoe switch and a laptop in their cavernous holes, while others keep it simple with a streamlined clutch that barely fits a Treo and credit card. But if you find yourself drooling over a vintage-inspired bag with divine details like metallic ruffles or a flirtatious leopard bow, chances are it's a Felix Rey creation, whose whimsical elegance has been favored by such celebs as Lindsay Lohan and Lucy Liu ever since the line debuted in 2001. Designed by fashion savvy New Yorker Lily Rafii, the company pairs her with best friend and business partner, Sulaika Zarrouk, who have both lead their unique accessories label be trumpeted as "Sex and the City meets Breakfast at Tiffany's," and snapped up by retail giants like Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman to offer affordable chic for the modern young woman on the go.
And if anything, Rafii is always on the go. A midtown girl and Columbia graduate who treasures her Central Park proximity, Rafii is as colorful a character as the bright hues you find in her product lines. A noted culture buff, this Ivy leager soaks up the city's museums and art shows at every spare moment and considers it one of the finest perks of her glamorous Manhattan lifestyle. "My hobbies definitely include visiting the latest exhibits and touring galleries. Another weekend pursuit is vintage shopping-either treasure hunting in the city, or making field trips outside of New York for great flea markets finds. Besides, every New Yorker should travel often for a change of pace and scenery--and one's own sanity!"
And since she's already taken care of the stylish outside, we asked Rafii what essentials she suggests any New Yorker stuff her Felix Rey bag with on the inside. "The BlackBerry Pearl, a cosmetics bag for her Bliss lip gloss and Nars bronzer, plus a Felix Rey polkadot umbrella for those rainy days!"
Of course, with the exuberant Rafii around, we have a feeling you won't need that umbrella much. It's always sunny on her side of the street.
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