Dubbed the Noho, it combines a cheap canvas tote, a small and overpriced designer tote, a yoga mat holder, an unattractive laptop case, and a clutch — all of which Overt’s founders, Lauren Kozica and Sarah Saxty, would carry on a regular basis. The resulting frankenbag made of durable nylon with soft-as-butter leather accents features a magnetic opening at the top; a slip pocket in the back for easy access to valuables; padded leather straps to wear it as a backpack and a top handle for the option to wear it as a tote; and a detachable pouch created with post-work margaritas in mind.
In Overt’s pipeline for 2015 are a smaller Noho bag, and individual cosmetic cases, cross-body bags, and carry-all totes. Document‘s Emily Singer and Kozica recently sat down to talk specifics.
Emily Singer—How was the seed for Overt planted? In other words, what’s the problem and how is Overt the solution?
Lauren Kozica—We just started to recognize how busy our life is living in the city. Leaving our apartments at 7 a.m. and not returning home until late at night, one day we sat there listing all the things we carry around with us and the multiple bags to hold it all. That’s when the Noho bag was designed. We wanted to create products that let the city girl transition from day to night with style and practicality.
Emily—How did you manage to make a bag with so much functionality and not compromise its appearance? Were there sacrifices you had to make?
Lauren—It was lot of work! Two things we will never compromise is style and functionality. That’s what makes us different to other brands selling designer backpacks. They may look chic, but can you fit your Nike trainers and laptop in there? Don’t get me wrong, I love the all-leather styles on the streets at the moment, but they’re super heavy before you’ve even put anything inside them! We use high-quality, lightweight durable nylon for functionality, and for the design we added soft leather where it matters—the handles, straps, the removable pouch—places where we hold and touch the most.
Emily—What do you think is the best individual feature of the Noho bag?
Lauren—The removable pouch. We were told by several factories not to bother making the pouch removable because no one uses the removable pieces on a garment or accessory, but this was totally untrue! From all the feedback we have received so far, the removable pouch is everyone’s favorite feature. Girls love snapping this off to go to a work function or date. Again, it serves a purpose and looks awesome, too.
Emily—Can you explain your logo? Does it symbolize anything?
Lauren—We love our logo! It means so much to us and represents what Overt stands for. The “O” symbolizes a clock, and the “V” is the clockhands. Around the clock, at all hours, from day to night. That’s Overt.
Emily—What’s your background? What did you and Sarah do before Overt?
Lauren—We both come with over 10 years fashion industry experience. My background is in wholesale and brand consulting, and Sarah’s background is product development and trend research slash market analysis. There’s really nothing that we don’t do together, but if we were to pick roles, Sarah designs and I sell.
The Noho bag and a selection of tech cases and pouches are available at overtnyc.com.