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Mimi Eayrs and Joanne Lee

OF eayrslee

When Mimi Eayrs (left) and Joanne Lee decided to launch Eayrslee, their line of thoughtfully constructed, utilitarian bags, in 2009, they had already had the chance to fully vet one another. A two-year work history in the books—the duo met in 2007 at Hayden Harnett, a Brooklyn-based handbag line where Joanne headed up design, and Mimi did art directing—they knew they shared the same get-it-done mentality and had complimentary personalities. “When you’re working for another person, you see things that you love that might not suit that brand,” Mimi says. “Many times, we were like, ‘Oh, we wish we could do this or that’—one day, we just thought, ‘What if we started our own line and did everything that we wanted?’”

They talked it out over fries and burgers one night, and, soon after, they took the plunge. Eayrslee—as evidenced in even the name—is a perfect marriage of the two designers’ aesthetics and talents. Joanne studied psychology at UC Berkeley before jumping into design, and Mimi trained as a fine artist in her native Argentina, in Italy, and at Parsons before diving into creating textiles. And how do they think about this thing they created? “I always call it my company baby!” Joanne jokes. “Most of my friends have kids already, and I’m just like, ‘Whatever, I have my company baby.’ We’re ready for it to go to college and get a job soon, though.” With all that they’ve got in the works, it’s safe to say those grown-up years are just around the bend. —jiayi ying

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Behind The Scenes

  • Profile_tumblr_inline_mwtpyk1gjr1qazwkm
    Step Inside Mimi Eayrs’s Cozy Clinton Hill Apartment Stay as long as you want.“The space is like a Tetris game,” says Mimi Eayrs—who designs the bangin’ bag line Earyslee with Joanne Lee—of her Brooklyn pad. “We have optimized every corner for storage—we had to make sure we could squeeze everything in a way that doesn’t seem too cluttered.” See how she, her husband Jason, and their son Indigo have done a lot with a little space. —alisha prakash“This is our living room. My husband made the coffee table many years ago. The blue book on it was a g... READ MORE »
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    Meet Lou, the Eayrslee Muse Overheard during the design process: “Would Lou wear it?”If you ask Joanne Lee and Mimi Eayrs where they dreamt up their line of sturdy and polished bags, they’ll tell you it was over platters of burgers and fries at the Williamsburg restaurant Five Leaves. But what ultimately got the girls to pull the trigger was an ad campaign in Elle, featuring design legend Rosita Missoni—the chic and glossy snap prompted Joanne and Mimi to weave together a story for their dream customer. She goes by Lou,... READ MORE »
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    A Day in the Life with Eayrslee What does the ten-to-eight look like for this duo? Now you know.No surprise here: Mimi Eayrs and Joanne Lee—the ladies behind Eayrslee, a line of sleekly functional bags you want to carry around the clock—are a busy pair. On top of brainstorming for lookbook shoots in their Brooklyn studio, scouting trade shows for drool-worthy leathers (stingray! ostrich! crocodile!), and working on some pretty sweet collabs (ahem, this one included), they’re up to, oh, a million other things. Joanne lets us... READ MORE »