Oscar Wilde said that fashion is beautiful, but useless. When form follows function, it’s anything but.
As the designer handbag and accessory line, AnnaBis, demonstrates, high-quality design can offer style and utility.
“Women like to be organized. We like beautiful and useful things, [and] that’s what AnnaBis is all about,” said Jeanine Moss, the company’s founder. The lack of products available on the market for female consumers drove Moss to create the handbag lines.
She’s no stranger to cannabis; she was born and raised in Venice Beach, a Southern California town known for its progressive, canna-friendly culture. Moss always consumed for enjoyment, she said, and regularly brought it along with her. When she moved to New York City and joined the corporate world, she had to be discrete.
Moss carried her stash in her handbag, which she noticed, her friends did also. The juxtaposition of pulling plastic bags out of designer Prada purses wasn’t lost on her. This, she said, was her “ah-ha” moment.
“When I needed it medicinally, I needed it [more] handy and convenient, and in a few different forms,” she said. But, there were little to no odor control or fashionable products on the market.
“I just couldn’t stand it [anymore]. There weren’t well designed, high-quality, useful [handbags] for women out there at all. It maddened me,” she explained. So, she said, “Enough is enough. I’m going to make it.”
Moss got to work and created the odor-blocking accessories. In November 2015 she launched AnnaBis, bridging the gap between cannabis-consumers and sophisticated style.
The innovative brand has so far been featured in “The Washington Post,” “Buzzfeed,” “Huffington Post,” and “The Los Angeles Times,” among others.
Their motto – “Enjoy the Journey” – follows the “realization that when you’re pulling baggies [out], and rushing through things, you’re not honoring what you’re doing. Cannabis smells good, it taste good, it’s an enjoyable experience – just like smoking a cigar,” said Moss.
We’ve got equipment for our favorite hobbies, like yoga. “Why wouldn’t you have something nice to honor [the importance of] cannabis in your life?” she asked.
AnnaBis, pronounced Anna-bee, and is a tongue-in-cheek pronunciation of “cannabis” in French, or (canna-bee) minus the “c.” It’s also an ode to the company’s commitment to discretion, and famous French female fashion icons, like Dorothee Bis.
“Women are going about their daily life, going to the bank, going out to dinner, [and going to] professional meetings,” she noted. Bringing something with Bob Marley on it to a conference room table isn’t always suitable.
“We’re not about having marijuana leaves on everything,” she said.
Privacy and security are important. While Moss sees no reason to hide usage, and thinks it’s worth celebrating, but recognizes that stigmas don’t die easy — even in legalized states. “[…] We are a security conscious group of people,” she added, “It isn’t safe for us to share [everything].”
“People are always going to want to be discrete,” Moss explained. This much is made clear by higher volumes of AnnaBis sales in legalized states.
Bags are outfitted with interior compartments made for items such as vapes, pipes, lighters, perfume and breath mints. Alas, no more digging through your purse as these built-in features keep everything in place (even the scent)!
Like all forms of art, fashion allows people to express themselves; these accessories are a way women can make statements about honoring their use of cannabis, said Moss. “There are all kinds of smoking accessories for men – like cigar cases and humidors – AnnaBis purses underscore the acceptability of cannabis in the new cannabis era.”
This freedom, security and style motivate women to carry in confidence.
While these luxury accessories are made with poise and convenience in mind, the most practical features are their odor-blocking abilities. Aroma-blocking technology incorporates air-tight zippers, and thick resin films, which are inserted between the leather exterior and the bag’s inner jacquard lining. The film is commonly used in the food and medical industries, and helps keep scents from seeping.
“We choose to conceal rather than absorb the smell,” Moss said, nobody wants “a stinky purse.” An added bonus for any designer-wear; the interior lining can be cleaned easily with soap and water.
Currently, there are seven different collections available on the company’s website. Each line incorporates different styles, sizes, textures and silhouettes.
Famous female cannabis users inspire the titles of individual collections. Moss said this honors the women who’re outspoken or who’ve advocated for the industry. The “Kirstin” collection for example, said Moss, is named after Kirstin Dunst who so notably stated that “the world would be a better place if everyone smoked pot;” The “Maya” collection is named in honor of Maya Angelou; the “RiRi” collection after Rihanna; “Lady G” from Lady GaGa; and company’s original line, the “Melissa” collection, takes it’s name from Melissa Etheridge.
AnnaBis’s inventory offers something for everyone: vegan bags, crossbody bags, backpacks, and cosmetic bags. Options are important, something Moss recognizes from her experience in the field of marketing and communications.
“There’s no one size fits all for female cannabis users – it’s about options and flexibility,” she said. The same goes for consumption methods, too.
“Nobody just consumes flower anymore. Some people use more edibles, but still want to bring flower along with them. All accessories, no matter what you like to use, are gonna fit,” Moss added, “We try to make [bags] as small as possible to fit as much as possible.”
The design process is a science: there are formulas, testing and research involved with each piece. The foremost source of inspiration are customers, Moss explained, who “tell me exactly what they want.”
“We’re women. We know what we want,” she noted.
After launching the “Melissa” line, “customers just loved it, but wished it had a wrist strap.” The company then created the “Maya” collection, designed with a strap and external phone pocket. “Our products evolve, we’re always consciously creating.” Both styles are among the company’s best sellers.
Moss draws on her own expertise as a handbag connoisseur, tests different products, and collects empirical evidence for the design process. In other words, she observes women in real world situations (like shopping at Costco), then articulates this into her work.
“I find out what [women] need, what they’re carrying, and how [to] them supremely useful and pretty to carry,” she said. Then, concepts are sent to designers, who work with such brands as Coach, and who apply their knowledge of the latest trend research.
Moss is gratified that so many recognize the importance of putting a different face on cannabis users. Not only are her customers destigmatizing consumption, but actively contributing to a changing culture with each purchase. The company partners with Realm of Caring, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing resources, research and advocacy to cannabis patients and families. A portion of each sale goes directly to the organization.
New products are in the works — like unisex items or goods for men — however, Moss is keeping the rest under wraps for now. She hinted at the future developments, and said “Our brand is about fashion, function, and odor control. We can apply that to a lot of different things and that’s what we are going to do.”
For more information or to get your own AnnaBis accessory, visit AnnaBisStyle.com