Catching up with Carey: Bird handbags designer Liz Carey talks about the military trend and what’s left her ‘seeing red’


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Liz Carey seems like your typical ex-model. Tall and pretty with a rock star ex-husband. But she opens her mouth and the vapid model stereotypes fly out the window. The bag designer (she launched her bag line, Bird, in 2006), comedienne (she’s a stand-up comic with a goofy personality and sharp wit who performs at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater) and David to a Juicy Couture Goliath (she’s currently embroiled in a legal case with the brand’s parent company, Liz Claiborne, over the “Bird” trademark which is owned by Carey but used by both.)

Our conversation was sparked by the army green “Lady” bag, which fits and follows the season’s military trend and which I came to find out is made from recycled army tents and benefits injured soldiers.


What inspired you to do these canvas bags when skins and exotic leathers are your signature thing?

The main reason behind the eco army bag is to serve my veggie friends and of course be kinder to animals (PETA actually auctioned off the bag on their website). We are also donating a portion of sales to three charities that all work to rehab war veterans. So how are they eco-friendly?

They’re made from recycled Army tents which we buy from Army-Navy stores. They come only in the “Lady” style from my collection. From a fashion standpoint I think it’s good to wear with spring little numbers because it roughs it all up a little bit.

Speaking of rough, what’s up with the all-red line of bags you just did? That’s intense. Is there high demand for red leather right now?

We did the “seeing red” collection, because I was seeing red as in I’m sad and angry because of a lawsuit I’m in with Liz Claiborne and I thought it would be a nice way to offer the followers of Bird handbags a gorgeous red bag and remind them that we are seeing red.

I think people are getting the red crusade – we have pictures of my friend Frankie Rayder holding a sign that says “born in 2006” to reiterate that we started four years ago and we’re still here. We’ve had some confusion from buyers, shoppers and online retailers. We’re making big efforts to clear up confusion for our birds.

Got it. So there’s a message behind all of the red. Well, when you’re not angry you’re pretty funny.

Right. When I’m not suing corporate America I love to hang out with my son Waylon, practice my stand-up comedy routine and do sketch comedy shows at Upright Citizens Brigade.

The small “Lady” army bag is $215 and large $225, available at Roseark.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Bottom: Designer Liz Carey; credit: Joe Hill