Janel Dyan


Cult Gaia

According to the Forbes 2018 30 Under 30 list, 29-year-old Cult Gaia designer and founder, Jasmin Larian’s style has been described as “Cali-Meets-Grace Kelly”. Looking at the handbags produced by her hit brand, it’s easy to see why.

Cult Gaia prides itself on creating pieces that are “Objets d' Art that make you look twice”, crafted from heirloom-quality materials. The Los Angeles-based brand has been around since 2012, but didn’t resonate with consumers until 2015. Of the brand’s humble beginnings, Larian has said, “Most people always loved the bag but didn’t think they could pull it off until they kept seeing it styled over and over again.

When people starting seeing all the ways that it could be worn was when they really started to believe in the wearability of the bag.” Since then, from LA to NYC and around the globe, the Cult Gaia Ark bag has become the “It” bag of Summer.

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Comprised of bamboo, wicker, or acrylic, the stunning-in-its-simplicity Ark bag has a definite vintage vibe. It immediately conjures images of Grace Kelly strolling through Monte Carlo, Audrey Hepburn biking through Rome, or Marilyn Monroe sunbathing on Catalina Island. It helps, also, that the bags have enough Instagram appeal to make you feel like a starlit in your own right.

The best part, however, is that you get that starlit look--without the starlit price. The Ark bags themselves will run you around $200, and almost anything else in the collection you can snag for less than $1,000! 

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Designer Jasmin Larian grew up with the fashion industry--sort of. Her mother was a fashion designer and her father owned the toy company that launched Bratz Dolls. She learned about fashion design and production by watching her parents and their employees craft clothing in miniature for dolls. Inspired, Larian attended FIT as a young adult.

She began her career by making flower crowns for Summer music festivals--a business that became lucrative enough to take full-time once the Festival trend took off. Larian, however, decided to delve into other accessories once she saw that companies like H&M had started producing flower crowns. She founded Cult Gaia and began making her signature bags, along with jewelry, and turbans.

Now that the brand has become one to watch, the company has taken things one step further and has produced a line of ready-to-wear pieces, as well. The clothing, which is designed to highlight the accessories, is the stuff Summer dreams are made of — soft flowing fabrics in delicate colors and prints, with feminine accents that again harken back to the Hollywood Golden Age.

With the initial ready-to-wear collection nearly selling out in ModaOperani pre-sales and boutiques worldwide struggling to keep Ark bags on the shelves, it’s safe to say that the world is in agreement: Cult Gaia is resoundingly In, and here to stay.

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Here are a few of our favorites for Summer

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