As Lucky‘s accessories editor, Melissa Lum regularly sports some of the most covetable bags, boots and jewels on the market. But recently, she made the jump from editor to designer—and it happened almost by accident! Late last year, Melissa was invited on a press trip with Canadian heritage label Roots, renowned for its sumptuous leather goods and accessories—and as part of the experience, each guest was invited to customize and create his or her own handbag on site at Roots’ factory. Immediately, Melissa knew she wanted to make a backpack.
"Roots’ design director (and total girl crush) Diane Bald guided us through the factory and leather room, and gave us shelves and shelves of beautiful leathers to choose from—there were perforated ones, tie-dyed ones, everything," Melissa told me. "Then, on this one shelf, I found a pelt of shearling—this one small scrap of it. And I knew that was what I wanted to be the body of the backpack." After selecting a classic black leather to serve as the design’s base, the backpack was ready to be stitched up. "The first week I wore it out, I would say at least 20 people asked me where I got it. I told Roots’ publicist about the amazing response I was getting—and they decided to actually produce it!"
Starting today, you can pick up the carryall she created—named, what else, "The Melissa"—for $398 at Roots.com. Get ready for the compliments to start rolling in!