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Cuff 'em Honey!

by Sofroina Timmons

You are strolling through the nightlife and happen to sit down to have a drink. Perhaps you plan to engage in conversation with the natives while soaking up the ambiance and then you spot your victim...I mean stud muffin - - you simply must take him home to meet the parents. Luckily you geared up with a Cuffz handbag. The nabbing ability to catch your future husband is within reach when you are wearing a fabulous bag with a chain link strap and a handcuff in silver, gold and Swarovski crystals (but sadly we know the creator did not intend for this, although she probably wouldn't have a problem with it).

Linz Shelton, is the designer and creator of this ingenious idea: to cuff your bag to your wrist so you don't need to worry about retracing your steps in a frantic emotion to every venue you visited. Linz realized she had a bit of an issue with leaving her bags behind. After several jokes and punch lines from friends she decided to design a bag with handcuffs. Nice! The signature slouchy Barfly styles are a hit in Hollywood. Linz is also designing a new line with recyclable, reclaimed fabrics that will promote the Green label launching this spring 2011. The profit sales from this line will be evenly shared with an organization whose efforts address the issue of Modern Day Slavery, either forced labor or forced prostitution, in Southeast Asia. Guys, stop guessing what to get your woman for the 2010 holidays and your purchase will contribute to a wonderful cause!

Explain the meaning of the brand?
This one is very simple: Cuffz by Linz handbags and accessories integrate real, working, police grade handcuffs into the designs. You handcuff your bag to your wrist, and your bag stays put, but the heads turn! Since then, the handcuff - still fully functional - has come to designate one's glamorous clutch, sexy shoulder bag, or chic tote as a true Cuffz original!

Who do you envision wearing this collection?
I would love to say anyone and everyone but they teach us at the class at the NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business that this is not an acceptable answer. I would fail my Marketing class! The beauty of a collection like this, however, is that it truly transcends our target segment and engages a variety of new customers: women from all walks of life who want to participate in impacting the lives of other women around the world.

How do you remain competitive in this market?
Well, the easy answer is that we hold the trade dress for the concept of handcuff handbags (the legal instrument that protects our concept the way a patent would.) More importantly, we have the best and most loyal customers a brand could ask for. Our Facebook page continues to grow in number of fans, photos and stories contributed, and engaging discussions among Cuffz-o-philes. These devoted followers have a unique and special relationship with our brand, and their enthusiasm is contagious!

What era in fashion does your line/collection most resemble?
I would have to say early Vivienne Westwood - the Malcolm McLaren days. I'm captivated by the creations that came out of their shop, Sex, on Kings Road in London in the early 1970's, and fascinated by how those early aesthetics have informed her future collections and her ongoing legacy. Queen Viv is my idol; no other designer has brought us such amazing pieces drawing from the spirit s of punks, 17th century aristocrats, bikers, royalty, and libertines throughout the ages.

What celebrity would you say exemplifies Cuffz style and why?
Of course Paris Hilton has been the face of the Cuffz brand since its inception. She has been amazingly enthusiastic since we launched the line (she bought 10 of our bags in our first week of business), and we are very grateful for her support.
Moving forward, I would give just about anything to have Lady Gaga wearing our bags. Her meteoric rise to super-stardom has been due in no small part to her unparalleled style and unique self-expression through costume. She is one of my own personal style icons, and it would be a very proud day for me to see her wearing one of my creations.
Specific to the Green Label, the celebrity I think most exemplifies the ethos of the collection is Angelina Jolie. Her work addressing human trafficking has been truly inspirational, and from a style perspective and she exemplifies high fashion and such class with her style. I would love to see her wearing one of these bags when we launch the collection.

Where can Cuffz be purchased and at what price point? - prices range from $48 for accessories and small bags to $700 for the fancy stuff!

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