Handbag designer inspired by Cup Match colours
Perri Furbert’s nod to Cup Match is a handbag collection inspired by the Somerset and St George’s cricket teams.
They’re a limited edition, styled after the bestselling bucket bag that the designer named after her grandmother, Ita Furbert.
The first orders ship tomorrow, in coincidence with the anniversary of Bermuda’s abolition of slavery in 1834.
“This is really just to honour this incredible holiday. Cup Match is such a monumental occasion for us and it's all around the emancipation of slavery,” the designer said. “Especially as a Black woman, I wanted to give a nod to that through my design.
“But it is just a design element. We do have a larger customer base. We ship all over the world and not everyone that purchases will know about Cup Match or be interested. So it's just a design element but, for me, it tells stories.”
The bags are sold through Gold The Label, the accessories brand Ms Furbert launched while studying business and marketing in Toronto, Canada in 2010.
It started unintentionally. Ms Furbert would buy shoes and change them so the design was more appealing to her taste.
“I used to change the straps, maybe add in straps, add detail to the heels, change the colour of the shoes. And then it kind of expanded.”
After she posted an album on Facebook, requests poured in for “weddings, proms, birthdays and just about everything else in between”.
Ms Furbert then added jewellery and T-shirts. A best seller was one she designed in celebration of sisterhood.
A square on the T-shirt front housed the names of the lead characters of Girlfriends, a show once popular on UPN.
“We sold so many of that shirt with a notable figure, Charlemagne tha God from The Breakfast Club in New York, wearing the shirt on Instagram and that of course opened up for more sales,” she said.
“That was back in 2017. And since then, we have designed sunglasses and handbags more recently.”
She has done it all without any formal training.
“I'm a creative, so wanting to express myself is really how it started. I was on a student budget and getting cheap shoes from Forever 21 or wherever I could find them and revamping them for myself.
“Living in a city, especially in a city like Toronto, they have a whole design district where you can pick up spikes and acrylic paints and leather paints and zippers and all kinds of things.
“So I just was exploring for myself and other people were interested.”
The business is now based in Bermuda. Ms Furbert has “a small team” helping her with Gold The Label.
Her faith sits at the centre of the company. It’s particularly evident with her collection of sunglasses. Each has a Biblical name.
“We have Judah, Exodus, Zion and Calvary …. The scripture that kind of holds it all together is Hebrews 11:1 which is ‘Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.’
“And that can kind of apply to anyone having faith in anything. For us, that of course is Jesus, but it's one of those things that can mean what it means to other people.”
The scripture can be found in every sunglasses case manufactured by Gold The Label.
“It’s kind of a play on words because it's talking about seeing things that you can't see and it’s vision and sunglasses. So I thought that that was quite clever,” Ms Furbert said.
“But religion is the basis of [the company]. It helps to dictate a lot of what we do and the overall ethos and values that we hold.
“It’s not at the forefront of the business but it is the foundation of the business.”
Although Ms Furbert does “a bit of marketing consultation” Gold The Label is now a full-time job. As one might expect, there was a steep learning curve.
“So many things – manufacturing, mass production is its own beast; knowing about packaging and shipping rates, the simple customer experience … I learnt a lot along the way. I made a lot of mistakes as well, but that's how you get better.”
For more information visit goldthelabel.com or follow goldthelabel on social media platforms. A small selection of items can be found locally: sunglasses are available at TABS; Ita Bucket Bags at Cassine; bucket hats at Linez Barbershop and Apparel.